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When to Run with the Grunion in La Jolla

Patch has the best dates to find grunion running at California beaches in 2013.

Birch Aquarium informed Patch on Monday of the best days to search local beaches for grunion this spring.

On certain spring nights following high tides, hundreds of the grunion ride the waves onto shore for this remarkable mating ritual, which only happens in Southern California. While on the beach, female grunion bury themselves half-way in the sand to lay eggs, while males wrap themselves protectively around the females to fertilize their eggs. Both catch a wave to return to sea, Scripps explained.

2013 Season

  • Friday, March 29: 11 p.m. - 1 a.m.
  • Friday, April 12: 10:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, April 27: 10:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, May 11: 10:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.
  • Sunday, May 26: 11 p.m. - 1 a.m. 

If you are not sure what to look for, Birch Aquarium can help. The local aquarium hosts guided "grunion runs" where participants head to the beach on a guided tour to hunt for the silvery fish.

The program is $14 per person, ages 6+. Ages 6-13 must attend with a paid adult. Reservations must be received in advance by registering online or by calling 858-534-7336.

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