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Grunion movie, exhibit and spawning run Thursday in San Pedro

July 22, 2009 | 10:46 am

Grunion scramble to get onto the beach to spawn. 

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro will be holding a "Meet the Grunion" program on Thursday, its last for this season.

The aquarium exhibit hall will open at 8 p.m., with a film on grunion to be screened at 9. The program cost is $5 for adults and $1 for children, seniors and students.

Afterward, everyone will head to the beach to await the spawning run, which has a projected two-hour window of 10:50 p.m. to 12:50 a.m.

Grunion runs are a sight to behold. For four consecutive nights, beginning on full and new moon phases during spring and summer, the small silvery fish leave the water to spawn on beaches. The shoreline may glisten with fish as the silversides attempt to lay and fertilize their eggs.

Grunion may only be caught by hand. Catchers 16 and older must posses a valid state fishing license.

There is no limit to the number of fish that may be caught, but the Dept. of Fish and Game ask that people only catch what they will eat.

Preparing the fish in a simple method seems best. After cleaning and scaling, they should be coated with a mixture of flour and yellow cornmeal (plus a pinch of salt or seasoning) and then sauteed or deep fried. Though bony, the fish have a very delicate flavor.

Directions and parking information for the the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium are available on the website.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Grunion scramble to get onto the beach to spawn. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

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