A grunion run is a grunion spawning event, when a thin silver fish species swims as far up onto shore as possible in order to reproduce. The females are the first to arrive on the sand, using their tail to dig a nest a few inches deep then depositing her eggs. There can be up to eight males that follow, waiting their turn to fertilize the eggs. The whole process takes as little as 30 seconds, but the fish can remain on the sand for several minutes. This process happens only a full moon, after a high tide, peaking during the months of March, April, May and June. Ten days later, at the next high tide, baby grunions hatch as they are carried out to sea.
There is a grunion run schedule, which specifies when you are permitted to take them. (People actually use grunion runs to hunt for their next meal.) May is an “observation only” month. Although we only saw few, getting to the beach when the moon first made its appearance, it was an unforgettable experience that most people will never have being that this species of fish only lives in Northern Baja and Southern California. It was a late night, but totally worth it. Mother Nature is so incredible.