Grunion Runs for 2014

Grunion Run San Diego

Grunion Run San Diego by Eric Wittman

“The California grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) is a member of the New World silversides family, Atheriniopsidae, along with jacksmelt and topsmelt. Grunion are the object of a unique recreational fishery. These fish are famous for their remarkable spawning behavior, which evokes an “I don’t believe it!” response from people seeing or hearing about it for the first time.” California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Spawning, the purpose of the runs, mainly occurs from March through August with peak dates between late March to early June. During a four-day cycle that starts on the nights of the full and new moons, grunion leave the water at night, after high tide, to spawn on beaches for a few hours.

The female creates a nest with her tail by twisting her body and digging her tail into the sand until she is half buried. Males curve around the female and release milt which reaches and fertilizes the eggs. As many as eight males may fertilize the eggs in a single nest. After spawning, the males immediately retreat toward the water while the female twists free and returns with the next wave.

While spawning may only take 30 seconds, some fish remain stranded on the beach for several minutes.

Best Locations and Times
Grunion runs will occur on most southern California beaches but not on every night and at every part of the beach. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends calling “the state and county beach lifeguards who can often tell if spawning has taken place.” Grunion runs have been spotted on beaches between Morro Bay and Cayucos.

The sun, moon, earth, tides and grunion behavior

The sun, moon, earth, tides and grunion behavior
source:http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/grunion.asp

“REMINDER: During the open season, a California fishing license is required for persons 16 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 the fish you can use – it is unlawful and unethical to waste fish.”

The Schedule — Expected Grunion Runs (Pacific Daylight Savings Time)

MARCH 2014 [OPEN SEASON]
SUNDAY Mar 16, 2014 between 10:15 p.m. – 12:15 a.m.
MONDAY Mar 17, 2014 between 10:40 p.m. – 12:40 a.m.
TUESDAY Mar 18, 2014 between 11:05 p.m. – 1:05 a.m.
WEDNESDAY Mar 19, 2014 between 11:40 p.m. – 1:40 a.m.
SUNDAY Mar 30, 2014 between 10:00 p.m. – midnight
MONDAY Mar 31, 2014 between 10:35 p.m. – 12:35 a.m.
 
APRIL 2014 [CLOSED SEASON -- OBSERVATION ONLY]
TUESDAY Apr 1, 2014 between 11:10 p.m. – 1:10 a.m.
WEDNESDAY Apr 2, 2014 between 11:45 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.
TUESDAY Apr 15, 2014 between 10:00 p.m. – midnight
WEDNESDAY Apr 16, 2014 between 10:35 p.m. – 12:35 a.m.
THURSDAY Apr 17, 2014 between 11:10 p.m. – 1:10 a.m.
FRIDAY Apr 18, 2014 between 11:50 p.m. – 1:50 a.m.
TUESDAY Apr 29, 2014 between 10:00 p.m. – midnight
WEDNESDAY Apr 30, 2014 between 10:35 p.m. – 12:35 a.m.
 
MAY 2014 [CLOSED SEASON -- OBSERVATION ONLY]
SUNDAY May 1, 2014 between 11:05 p.m. – 1:05 a.m.
MONDAY May 2, 2014 between 11:45 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.
WEDNESDAY May 14, 2014 between 9:35 p.m. – 11:35 p.m.
THURSDAY May 15, 2014 between 10:10 p.m. – 12:10 a.m.
FRIDAY May 16, 2014 between 10:50 p.m. – 12:50 a.m.
SATURDAY May 17, 2014 between 11:40 p.m. – 1:40 a.m.
WEDNESDAY May 28, 2014 between 9:35 p.m. – 11:35 p.m.
THURSDAY May 29, 2014 between 10:10 p.m. – 12:10 a.m.
FRIDAY May 30, 2014 between 10:40 p.m. – 12:40 a.m.
SATURDAY May 31, 2014 between 11:15 p.m. – 1:15 a.m.
 
JUNE 2014 [OPEN SEASON]
FRIDAY Jun 13, 2014 between 10:00 p.m. – midnight
SATURDAY Jun 14, 2014 between 10:40 p.m. – 12:40 a.m.
SUNDAY Jun 15, 2014 between 11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
MONDAY Jun 16, 2014 between 12:25 a.m. – 2:25 a.m.
FRIDAY Jun 27, 2014 between 9:50 p.m. – 11:50 p.m.
SATURDAY Jun 28, 2014 between 10:20 p.m. – 12:20 a.m.
SUNDAY Jun 29, 2014 between 10:55 p.m. – 12:55 a.m.
MONDAY Jun 30, 2014 between 11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
 
JULY 2014 [OPEN SEASON]
SATURDAY Jul 12, 2014 between 9:45 p.m. – 11:45 p.m.
SUNDAY Jul 13, 2014 between 10:35 p.m. – 12:35 a.m.
MONDAY Jul 14, 2014 between 11:25 p.m. – 1:25 a.m.
TUESDAY Jul 15, 2014 between 12:15 a.m. – 2:15 a.m.
SATURDAY Jul 26, 2014 between 9:35 p.m. – 11:35 p.m.
SUNDAY Jul 27, 2014 between 10:05 p.m. – 12:05 a.m.
MONDAY Jul 28, 2014 between 10:40 p.m. – 12:40 a.m.
TUESDAY Jul 29, 2014 between 11:10 p.m. – 1:10 a.m.
 
AUGUST 2014 [OPEN SEASON]
SUNDAY Aug 10, 2014 between 9:35 p.m. – 11:35 p.m.
MONDAY Aug 11, 2014 between 10:25 p.m. – 12:25 a.m.
TUESDAY Aug 12, 2014 between 11:15 p.m. – 1:15 a.m.
WEDNESDAY Aug 13, 2014 between 12:05 a.m. – 2:05 a.m.
MONDAY Aug 25, 2014 between 9:50 p.m. – 11:50 p.m.
TUESDAY Aug 26, 2014 between 10:20 p.m. – 12:20 a.m.
WEDNESDAY Aug 27, 2014 between 10:55 p.m. – 12:55 a.m.
 

Note: 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.

Grunion Run San Diego

Grunion Run San Diego by Eric Wittman