Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
  Meet the Grunion  

Meet the Grunion

    Spend a night sitting on Southern California's sandy shore waiting for the “grunion run.” Grunion are small sardine-size fish of the silversides family, which are among the few species of fish that actually come ashore to lay their eggs on sandy beaches. They are found from Southern California south to Baja California and arrive at night after the high tide around the new moon and full moon. Cabrillo Beach is one of the better places to observe the fish.

Upcoming Grunion Runs

FRIENDS Members Only Grunion Run
FRIENDS of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is hosting a Members-Only Grunion Run! This is a FREE event for FCMA members, community sponsors, corporate sponsors and employee families of corporate sponsors.

The Aquarium will open at 8pm. The auditorium program begins at 9pm, followed by a guided observation at the beach. Watch silvery fish come up on the beach to spawn and learn about the interesting mating rituals of this curious fish.

8pm - Aquarium Open
9pm - Auditorium Program
10:55pm - On the beach

*The CMA Gift Shop will be open late for guests.

This family-friendly event is FREE to members with a reservation. To
RSVP call (310) 548-7562 x 205 or email by
Monday, April 4.

Want to come but not a member yet? Sign up for a FRIENDS membership on our website or by contacting the membership department.


• Saturday, May 13, 2017 • 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM


Meet the Grunion
Watch silvery fish come up on the beach to spawn! Learn about the interesting mating rituals and growth of this curious fish. The Aquarium opens at 8 pm and an auditorium program begins at 9, followed by guided observation at the beach. You must arrive before 9 pm to see the movie.

Warm clothing and a flashlight are recommended. April and May are closed season. March, June and July are open season, when grunion may be taken by hand only and a valid California fishing license must be displayed if you are 16 years or older.

BUY TICKETS ONLINE and avoid the lines!

$5 adults, $1 seniors, students and children.

*The CMA Gift Shop will be open late for guests.


• Thursday, April 27, 2017 • 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
• Sunday, June 11, 2017 • 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
• Sunday, June 25, 2017 • 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
• Tuesday, July 11, 2017 • 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
• Monday, July 24, 2017 • 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM


Special Grunion Fish-tival
Join us for a night of fishy fun and celebrate southern California's very own grunion fish.

Come in style to the Grunion Fish-tival! Wear an aluminum hat to greet the grunion and shield yourself from the cosmic rays of the moon. All Foiled Hat Guests will receive a special gift. Special "Larry Prizes" will be given out for the best grunion-themed hats.

Hatch grunion eggs, learn how to make grunion origami, participate in grunion arts and crafts, watch a classic grunion video, interact with grunion researchers, touch live tidepool animals and see the many fish and other live animals in the Aquarium.

Don't miss your chance to test your GQ (Grunion Quotient), or guess what's in the Mystery Box! After participating in fun grunion activities, everyone will head to the beach to observe these enchanting fish. During the month of May grunion may be observed, but not captured. Warm clothing is recommended.

BUY TICKETS ONLINE and avoid the lines!

Admission: $5 adults ($1 seniors, students, children)

*The CMA Gift Shop will be open late for guests.


• Saturday, May 27, 2017 • 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM

At times the beach may look as if it is covered in a blanket of silver as the wriggling fish arrive to mate.  The females burrow into the sand to lay eggs while the males wrap around them in order to fertilize the eggs.  Then both males and females catch the next wave back out to sea.  The fertilized eggs incubate for about nine days in the sand before the tumbling action of the waves from the next series of high tides cause them to hatch as they are carried back out to sea. To learn more about these fascinating creatures:

"Fish 'Walks' on Beach to Spawn," National Geographic

Frai des grunions à Cabrillo (Californie, USA)
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Eclosion grunions nausicaa
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