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Sex on the beach | Grunion, of course

July 13, 2022
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[Posted by Chuck Almdale, submitted by Karen Martin]

It’s that time of the year….

Scientists believe the “scout fish” arrive on the beach first to make sure it’s safe.

Sex on the beach: A beloved California wriggles ashore to spawn
Grunion run has fascinated scientists and locals for decades, but their future is threatened by the climate crisis.
The Guardian | Katharine Gammon in Santa Monica | 3 Jul 2022 |

Martin, who has been studying grunion for years and is considered a foremost expert on their behavior, sets some rules.

  • Don’t touch the fish.
  • Don’t shine lights on them until the frenzy has started.
  • Don’t wander too far away on the darkened beach, which is a critical fish habitat.

She then solemnly intones: “May the fish be with us.”

This year, the state has prohibited people from taking any fish in April, May and June, the peak time of the grunion run – adding June to the prohibition for the first time since 1949. “We’re trying to curtail that activity to protect the species and hopefully they will recover,” says Armand Barilotti, an environmental scientist with the California department of fish and wildlife.

Direct link to Grunion Greeters organization.

Later, more arrive.
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