Grunion Fish – Fact, Run, Distribution, Profile, Breeding

Grunion fish
(Last Updated On: April 13, 2021)

The Grunion Fish Run is a uniquely Southern California phenomenon not found anywhere else. Picture yourself on a beach in San Diego with dozens of other people at night. The tide is high, and the waves are moving quite far along the sand line.

Suddenly, a wave goes down, in fact, you spot hundreds of silver things wiggling on the sand. Then, just as fast, the next wave melts, then out, and with it the Silver Specter. This is the famous Granion Run in California.

Grunion fish facts

Grunion fish is one of two fish species of Luristes species: Granion, California. Tenuis and the Gulf Granion, El Sardinas. They are the sardine-sized teleost fish of the New World Silverside family Atherinopsidae, which are found only in the California, US, and Baja California suburbs of Mexico, where the species is found in both the Pacific and the Gulf of California. Many enjoy catching grunion at events called “Grunion Run”.

Grunion fish is known for its unusual mating rituals where females rise on sandy beaches at high tide, where they lay eggs and lay their tails on the sand.

The male then wraps himself around the female to deposit his sperm, and for the next 10 days, the fetal eggs are hidden in the sand. In later sets of high tide, eggs are hatched from eggs and young Grunion fishes are washed out at sea.

What is grunion and why do they come ashore?

The California Granion fish (Luristes tenuis) is a small silver fish about five to six inches tall and is found only in southern California and the coast of northern Baja California.

Unlike other fish, Grunion fish is completely out of the water to lay eggs in the wet sand of the beach. From March to September, one of the most significant life cycles in the ocean ended when the Grunion Fish sprang up along the San Diego coast.

According to the California Fish and Game Department, Grunion only makes these trips on certain nights, and with such regularity that their arrival time on the beach can be estimated a year in advance. This phenomenon is seen on many beaches in southern California.

Within a short period of high tide, on certain nights, portions of these beaches are sometimes covered with thousands of grunions that deposit their eggs in the sand. Therefore, both Grunion monitoring and Grunion hunting are popular.

Although Grunion fishes are fish you do not catch them with poles and lines that you do like other aquatic organisms. The grunion is washing up to your feet on the shore, so you can “hunt” them quickly with your bare hands.

Since these fish release water to deposit their eggs, they can be captured when they are briefly trapped. Often there are more people than fish, but at other times everyone chews on fish so, no need for expensive fishing gear (just your empty hand and a bucket or sack to hold your prize), as well as a legitimate state fishing license and keen to get some wet.


Found on California Point Conception, Punta Abruzzo, Baja California Sur, along the Pacific coast of Grunion, California. They are rarely found in San Francisco in the north and San Juanico Bay in Baja California in the south.

The Gulf of Granion, El Sardina, is seen on the Gulf of Baja California, California. By monitoring the location in the waters near the surf to a depth of h1 feet (5 m), tests indicate that they are not migrants.

Appearance and growth

These are small, thin fish with blue-green backs and silver sides and bellies. Their snow lets were intriguingly round and slippery. The silversides differ from the true odor of the Osmareidae family in that they lacked the fins of their native-like trout.

grunion fish mating

The young Grunion fish grows rapidly and by the time they reach a year old, they are about five inches tall and ready to span. Adult fishes are typically 6 to 7 inches (15 to 18 cm) in size, with a maximum size of 8.5 (220 mm) in record size (La Jolla, CA., 05-11-05).

At the end of a year, the average body lengths of men and women are 4.5 and 5 (11 and 13 cm), respectively; 5.5 and 5.8 in (14 and 15 cm) at the end of two years; And 5.9 and 6.3 between the end of three years (15 and 16 cm).

The normal life expectancy of Grunion is three to four years, although individuals up to five years of age have been found. Their growth rate slows down after the first spanning and stops completely during the spanning season.

As a result, adult fish only grow during autumn and winter. Due to the difference in these growth rates, copies are made on the scales that are used to determine the age.


The California Grunion fish splits on the beach for two to six nights after the full and new monsoon begins after high tide and lasts for several hours.

With the waves breaking on the beach, the grunion will swim as far as possible. While keeping the woman’s head elevated, her body arches and digs semifluid sand with her tail.

As her tail sinks, the woman grabs her body and first searches until the tail is buried in her petrol wings. After the woman was in the nest, eight men tried to mate with her by turning her wife around and landing her baby about four inches below the level.

After sailing, the men immediately return to the sea. The milt flows over the female body until it reaches the egg and is fertilized. The woman is free to turn and return to the sea with the next wave.

The whole event can happen within 30 seconds but some fish are on the beach for a few minutes. Spanning can last from March to August, sometimes extending to February and September. However, peak spanning is from late March to early June. Once mature, a person can be grown in incremental spanning periods for about 15 days.

Most women are exposed about six times in six tuts. The number of mature eggs in an egg ranges from about 1,600 to about 3,600, with the larger egg producing more eggs.

A female can get about 18,000 eggs throughout the season. Millet obtained from a male may contain one million sperm. Men can participate in a number of spankings per run.

The eggs hatch a few inches deep into the sand above the level of the next wave. They are not submerged in seawater but kept moist with the residual water in the sand.

While incubating, they are hunted by birds and shore resident variants on the shore. Under normal circumstances, they have no chance to hatch until they reach the next tide series 10 or more days later.

Grunion fish eggs may initially decline and delay hatching if the tide does not reach them for an additional four weeks after hatching. Most eggs will hatch within 10 days if the seawater supply and rising surf movements are provided. The mechanical action of the waves is the environmental trigger of hatching.

The rapidity of hatching, which occurs in less than a minute, indicates that this is probably not an enzymatic function of softening the chorion, like some other fish.

The Gulf Granion, with its small eggs, is unique in both night and day

Although some other fish species leave the eggs in dry places (some, such as the flat winged madman, may also have low tide time with the eggs) or above the trees (splash tetras), jump on land en masse to spawn grunion, capellini. And unique to the Grass Fever.


The practice of feeding grunion is not well known. They have no teeth and feed very small organisms like plankton. In a laboratory setting, Grunion fishes eat live brine shrimp.

Tips for Grunion fish Hunting

Grunion hunting is prohibited during April and May, but if you are not keen on catching a fish, this is a fun time to watch the spanning event.

You cannot use anything other than your hand for fishing, and no sand can be excavated to find them.

There is no limit to the number of grunions you can take, but you are only advised to eat enough so that none is wasted.

The best beaches for Granion Run are Del Mar, La Jolla, Mission Beach, and Coronado Strand.

When going on a grunion hunt, keep the minimum light as it may scare the fish to land on the sand to give the egg an egg.


An isopod, two species of flies, sandworms, and an insect egg are found lying on some shorebirds such as elephants and hunts while hunting in the greens while the fish are onshore. Sand sharks, such as seagulls, marine lions, and larger fish, have also been found to feed on the grunion during the runoff.

The loss of spawning habitat due to beach erosion, harbor construction, and pollution is considered to be one of the most complex problems of the Grunion species.
The condition of the population

Despite the local density, Grunions are not an abundant species. Although the size of the population is not known, all studies point to a limited organization that maintains sufficiently at current crop rates under existing regulations.


In the 1920s, recreational fishing in Grunion caused specific signs of decline, which resulted in a regulation being passed in 1927 that established a three-month closed season from April to June.

Grunion stocks advanced and the closing season in 1947 shortened in April and May. This closure is effective in protecting the grunion during the extended period of their peak.

The periodic presence of Grunion fishes on the southern California coast and their catch is known locally as the “grunion run.” Phishing licenses are required for anyone aged 5 years and over to catch grunion, and their sports fishermen can only carry their hands.

No equipment of any kind can be used to catch grunion, and no holes can be dug at the beach to engulf them. Grunion can be taken on certain dates between March and August, but not in April and May.

There is no restriction here, but fishermen can only accept what they can use because, under California law, it is legal to kill fish. With these rules, the source seems to be maintaining itself at a fairly constant level.

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