Monday, June 10, 2013

So Cal's Most Famous Fish! The Grunion are Running! @CabrilloAqua #Fish #Grunion #Teach #Family

File:Leuresthes tenuis on the beach.jpg
Photo Courtesy of Eric Wittman

Have you ever been on a Grunion Run? 

No, it's NOT the latest 5K run that is all the latest craze...!

The Grunion Run is the spawning season of a unique fish that lay eggs on our local beaches.  The Grunion leave the water and flip flop onto the sand to higher ground to bury their eggs in the damp sand not effected by the waves.

This occurs during the Spring/Summer months and sometimes run into September and February.

The males (sometimes up to 8 of them) fertilize the eggs deposited by the females and return to the sea with the following waves.  Sometimes, although the fertilizing only takes about 30 seconds, the fish are stranded for several minutes.

The adults seen in Southern California, tend to range between 5-6 inches with an occasionally 7 inchers.  The grunion live on average of about 3 years.  The longer the fish, the older and closer the fish is to the end.

So why am I so excited about this?  This is a great opportunity to see the fish in action and share this unique experience of nature with my children!

Many people go to Grunion Runs to go fishing.  However, fishing for Grunion is unlike any other fishing you may have tried.  There is no limit (as long as you have a valid California fishing license for 16+ y/o) but you may only catch the fish with your bare hands!  They are very slippery and it is not as easy as you might think!  You may bring a bucket to put them in after but you must get them into the bucket with no nets or tools.

One of the best places to see (observe only)this phenomenon is at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro.  On June 10, 2013 they will hold a informational seminar in their classroom and then guide the class out onto the beach to witness it first hand.  The Aquarium opens at 8PM and the class starts at 9PM.  Followed by the guided observations on the beach.

Here is the 2013 Spring/Summer schedule.  I plan on taking my family one of the nights (even though it may mean a scheduled nap) and experiencing this for myself.

One of the best ways to find out which beaches have had recent runs is to call the state and county beach lifeguards who can often tell if spawning has taken place. There is a grunion program offered to the public at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro on several nights of the season. Visit the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium for more information.

The ends of beaches are often the best spots. Some of the beaches in southern California that are known to have runs are: the beach between Morro Bay and Cayucos, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice, Hermosa Beach, Cabrillo Beach, Long Beach, Belmont Shore, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Doheny Beach, Del Mar, La Jolla, Mission Beach and the Coronado Strand. The beaches near Ensenada in Baja California also have good runs.

Additional grunion information and volunteer programs may be found at:

The times given for each date reflect the probable two-hour interval during which a spawning run may occur. The second hour is usually better. The best runs normally occur on the second and third nights of a four-night period.

There is no guarantee that they will spawn on these dates but a high probability.

Expected Grunion Runs for 2013

Open Season



Mo 10:10 p.m. - 12:10 a.m.
Tu 10:40 p.m. - 12:40 a.m.
We 11:10 p.m. - 1:10 a.m.
Th 11:40 p.m. - 1:40 a.m.

We 10:10 p.m. - 12:10 a.m.
Th 10:40 p.m. - 12:40 a.m.
Fr 11:20 p.m. - 1:20 a.m.
Sa Midnight - 2:00 a.m.*



Sa 9:35 p.m. - 11:35 p.m.
Su 10:05 p.m. - 12:05 a.m.
Mo 10:40 p.m. - 12:40 a.m.
Tu 11:10 p.m. - 1:10 a.m.

Su 9:45 p.m. - 11:45 p.m.
Mo 10:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.
Tu 11:20 p.m. - 1:20 a.m.
We 12:15 a.m. - 2:15 a.m.*



Mo 9:50 p.m. - 11:50 a.m.
Tu 10:25 p.m. - 12:25 a.m.
We 10:55 p.m. - 12:55 a.m.
Th 11:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.

Mo 9:35 p.m. - 11:35 p.m.
Tu 10:20 p.m. - 12:20 a.m.
We 11:10 p.m. - 1:10 a.m.
Th Midnight - 2:00 a.m.*



Tu 9:35 p.m. - 11:35 p.m.
We 10:10 p.m. - 12:10 a.m.
Th 10:40 p.m. - 12:40 a.m.
Fr 11:20 p.m. - 1:20 a.m.

Tu 9:40 p.m. - 11:40 p.m.
We 10:20 p.m. - 12:20 a.m.
Th 11:05 p.m. - 1:05 a.m.
Fr 11:05 p.m. - 1:05 a.m.

(Schedule courtesy of the CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife)
For more information contact:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
4665 Lampson Ave. Suite C
Los Alamitos, CA 90720

DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post.  All thoughts are my own.  This is for informational purposes only.  There is a chance that the fish might not arrive on every beach on the stated days. Do not use any pictures without permission.

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