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'Meet the Grunion' Monday at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

March 18, 2011 | 11:40 am

Grunion scramble to get onto the beach to spawn.

The grunion are back in Southern California, and with them comes the return of the "Meet the Grunion" program, Monday evening at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro.

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

Afterward, those who wish to participate will head to the beach to await the spawning run, which has a projected two-hour window of 11:15 p.m. to 1:15 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 in the months of March, June and July, and only by hand. Catchers 16 and older must possess a valid state fishing license.

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

The program will be offered again on April 5 and 19, May 5 and 19, June 3 and 17, and July 16.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is at 3720 Stephen M. White Drive in San Pedro. Directions and parking information is available on the aquarium's website.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

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


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