Alaska Airlines
Grunion Run  March 2011

Refreshing Relaxation  April 2007

Taking the High Road  February 2007

March 2011  
Grunion Run
by Cameron Walker

The elusive silvery fish makes its appearance on California's beaches after dark--if you're willing to wait.

Pacific Beach, during a golden spring afternoon, fills with people strolling along
the boardwalk and the sand. Older couples walk the San Diego–area community
boardwalk with visors shading their faces, while surfers stretch into their wet suits. A
blonde woman walks a tiny dog, and a young man jokes with his friend in Portuguese.
A teenage girl rolls by on a skateboard while licking an ice cream cone. A boy drags ropes of kelp along the beach.

At night, there’s a crowd of a different
type. At least that’s what I hope. I’ve come
to see grunion—silvery fish the length of a
hand that swim onshore to spawn after

Grunion, found on the Pacific shores of
Central and Southern California and
Northern Baja, may appear on sandy
beaches anytime between February and
September. The peak months of April and
May are closed to grunion fishing—during
the rest of the year, you can catch the fish,
but only with your bare hands. Springtime
brings not only the grunion’s strongest
Southern California runs, but also volunteers
known as Grunion Greeters, who
monitor the fish to learn more about them.

Read more (page 163)