California Grunion Run

Spend a night sitting on Southern California’s sandy shore waiting for the “grunion run.” Grunion are small sardine-size fish of the silversides family, which are among the few species of fish that actually come ashore to lay their eggs on sandy beaches. They are found from Southern California south to Baja California and arrive at night after the high tide around the new moon and full moon. Be sure to bundle up in warm clothing and bring a flashlight.

Grunion Run 2012 schedule for anyone that wishes to watch these amazing fish up close. 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 the four-night period. During the open season, a fishing license is required for persons16 years and older. Grunion may be taken by hand only. No holes may be dug in the beach to entrap them. There is no bag limit, but take only what you can use – it is unlawful and unethical to waste fish.

Open Season

March

8
9
10
1122
23
24
25
Th 9:20 p.m. – 11:20 p.m.
Fr 9:55 p.m. – 11:55 p.m.
Sa 10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Su 12:15 a.m. – 2:15 a.m.*Th 10:05 p.m. – 12:05 a.m.
Fr 10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Sa 10:55 p.m. – 12:55 a.m.
Su 11:20 p.m. – 1:20 a.m.

June

4
5
6
719
20
21
22
Mo 9:40 p.m. – 11:40 p.m.
Tu 10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
We 11:15 p.m. – 1:15 a.m.
Th 12:05 a.m. – 2:05 a.m.*Tu 9:35 p.m. – 11:35 p.m.
We 10:10 p.m. – 12:10 a.m.
Th 10:50 p.m. – 12:50 a.m.
Fr 11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

July

4
5
6
718
19
20
21
We 10:25 p.m. – 12:25 a.m.
Th 11:10 p.m. – 1:10 a.m.
Fr 11:55 p.m. – 1:55 a.m.
Sa 12:35 a.m. – 2:35 a.m.*We 9:20 p.m. – 11:20 p.m.
Th 9:55 p.m. – 11:55 p.m.
Fr 10:35 p.m. – 12:35 a.m.
Sa 11:10 p.m. – 1:10 a.m.

August

1
2
3
417
18
19
We 9:20 p.m. – 11:20 p.m.
Th 10:05 p.m. – 12:05 a.m.
Fr 10:45 p.m. – 12:45 a.m.
Sa 11:25 p.m. – 1:25 a.m.Fr 9:40 p.m. – 11:40 p.m.
Sa 10:20 p.m. – 12:20 a.m.
Su 11:05 p.m. – 1:05 a.m.

Closed Season (Observation Only)

April

7
8
9
1022
23
24
25
Sa 10:20 p.m. – 12:20 a.m.
Su 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Mo 11:50 p.m. – 1:50 a.m.
Tu 12:40 a.m. – 2:40 a.m.*Su 10:15 p.m. – 12:15 a.m.
Mo 10:45 p.m. – 12:45 a.m.
Tu 11:15 p.m. – 1:15 a.m.
We 11:50 p.m. – 1:50 a.m.

May

5
6
7
820
21
22
23
Sa 9:15 p.m. – 11:15 p.m.
Su 9:55 p.m. – 11:55 p.m.
Mo 10:40 p.m. – 12:40 a.m.
Tu 11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.Su 9:20 p.m. – 11:20 p.m.
Mo 9:50 p.m. – 11:50 p.m.
Tu 10:25 p.m. – 12:25 a.m.
We 10:55 p.m. – 12:55 a.m.
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2 Comments

  1. Back to so many years ago while I was still single and had so interesting experience Grunion Run . Were is the best place to see it,can you name few beaches or location for me to take my kids there.
    TKS

  2. I am so pleased you enjoyed the article. While grunion spawn on many beaches in southern California, the Department of Fish and Game does not recommend any particular beach because of changing safety conditions and local curfews. 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. Call (310) 548-7562 for details.

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