My first grunion run

Photo credit: Eric Wittman

I almost forgot to write about my first grunion run! On Monday, March 7th, I ventured down to Cabrillo Aquarium for the first grunion run of the season, which was predicted to occur sometime between 10:25pm and 12:25pm. This time frame is based on when the highest tide of the night rolls in carrying grunion to the beach for spawning.

A group of about 50 people walked down to the beach around 10:15pm and started watching for the tiny fish to arrive. The wind was blowing like crazy, whipping the sand around and blowing palm fronds off the trees. At one point I thought it would be wiser to watch the trees to make sure I didn’t get knocked out by a flying frond.

With each crash of the waves, we kept our eyes peeled and waited and waited and waited and waited. The wind made for some great wave watching, but alas, the grunion didn’t show. According to Cabrillo Aquarium staff who have been working grunion nights for years, it’s pretty rare to have a complete grunion bust like that, which made me wonder if I brought the bad luck. I hope not!

We headed back to the aquarium close to midnight. The good news is there will be another grunion run on March 21st, hopefully the grunion will make an appearance then. The bad news is that the predicted run time is later, from 11:15pm to 1:15pm, so drink some coffee and come on down to watch the magical grunion spawn on the beach. It’s a natural phenomenon that everyone should see at least once.


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