Grunion season begins tonight!

Photo credit: Eric Whittman

Tonight is the first grunion run of the season at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. Let’s hope it isn’t a repeat of what happened last year, when crazy winds whipped palm fronds off trees and not one grunion appeared.

If you can’t make it tonight, no worries, there are several more grunion runs coming up. Here’s the list of times for grunion events hosted at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium:


Saturday, March 10, 2012 • 8:00 pm
Sunday, April 08, 2012 • 8:00 pm
Monday, April 23, 2012 • 8:00 pm
Monday, May 07, 2012 • 8:00 pm
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 • 7:00 pm
Tuesday, June 05, 2012 • 8:00 pm
Thursday, June 21, 2012 • 8:00 pm
Friday, July 20, 2012 • 8:00 pm

I recommend going to a grunion run during April or May because that’s when it’s “closed season,” meaning it’s illegal to take grunion during that time. This means people can only watch grunion spawn on the beach and it’s so much nicer because you really get to see male and female grunion doing their thing.

During open season, everyone rushes the beach grabbing grunion and throwing them into buckets and it’s total chaos. As soon as people storm the beach, grunion are smart and vanish within the next two or three waves. Even though they’re fish, they’re no dummies.


  1. says

    Very cool. I’d love to check that out. In Rhode Island we don’t have a beach spawn. Capelin are night time beach spawners but that event happens well north of here.


    • Carolyn Kraft says

      Thanks for the comment John! It’s definitely worth checking out if you visit southern California during grunion season. Now I’m intrigued about capelin, I’ll have to investigate!

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