My 1st Grunion Run

Thanks to DEN member Tom Lau… I had the opportunity to attend yet another field trip to a place I have wanted to go for years…. A GRUNION RUN!  It only happens here in CA… we are soo lucky?  Have you ever been on one?

Tom and his highschool students piled in the bus at 8:30 on a Saturday night and headed down to Cabrillo Beach.  The Grunion actually don’t come out til about 10 pm… but these students didn’t seem to mind hanging out with their teacher on a Saturday night!

Cabrillo has an incredible aquarium next door with some terrific exhibits and they even allow you to hatch your own fish eggs! (I’ll pass on the caviar) After the aquarium to head down to the beach where you sit VERY patiently and wait and wait and wait.  Then to our delight a few fish came to shore.

Tom explained that the females bury their bodies, with only their heads sticking out and lay their eggs.  The males do their "special" thing by just laying next to the hole that they dug.  The next wave that comes she jumps out and flops back to the water.  Quite amazing!  If you are lucky enough you can actually see the eggs left behind. (let me emphasize once more that I’ll pass on the caviar)  Within minutes, to our pure AMAZEMENT the beach filled with hundreds of silvery grunion.  Poor guys… all of our flashlights aimed at them. 

So if you haven’t done so yet… you absolutely MUST do a Grunion Run.  I’d love to make a  DEN Family event out of it. Tom mentioned that he would like to set up a trip to the tide pools also… Imagine going to the tide pool with experts to explain what everything actually is! If you are interested post a comment and let me know.  We’ll plan a day!

My hubby and I had so much fun we took our nieces the next night.. Check out these pictures…

M_and_l_spotlighting_grunion Laying_eggs Grunion_eggs Grunion Gotcha


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  1. Kimberly Mattingly said:

    I would love to see one! I am interested in going. 🙂

  2. Katie Warren said:

    I went to my first grunion run as a freshman in high school with my best friend and her family so there were about 15 of us. It was a little different in that we collected the grunion in buckets (you could do that then)and went back to her house. Her mom fried them with a huge plate of pasta. I remember how great they tasted. No, I didn’t eat the roe back then but I do eat caviar now. Would love to take a nostalgic grunion run. That silvery glow in the sand is amazing.

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