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

Meet the Grunion
Watch the 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. 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.
*The CMA Gift Shop will be open late for guests.

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

***Buy tickets online***
Click here to buy tickets before the event and avoid the line!


• Saturday, March 07, 2015 • 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
• Saturday, March 21, 2015 • 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
• Sunday, April 05, 2015 • 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
• Wednesday, May 06, 2015 • 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
• Thursday, June 04, 2015 • 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
• Thursday, June 18, 2015 • 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
• Friday, July 17, 2015 • 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 foil-capped guests get in FREE! Fun prizes will be awarded for the top three 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.

Admission: $5 adults ($1 seniors, students, children)
Guests wearing aluminum hats: FREE

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

• Tuesday, May 19, 2015 • 7:00 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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