What there is to know

  • Select nights in spring, starting Monday, April 18
  • $7 adult, $3 student, $3 child, $3 senior; advance tickets available
  • A presentation and video will be followed by a tour of the nearby sand, to potentially see grunion spawning

Moments spent on the sand? Such moments can seem more magical than experiences that take place just about anywhere else, because the beach, and our time spent by the ocean, is always charged with a wondrous and mysterious feeling.

But even if we’ve spent months or years enjoying the beach, our sand-centric feelings become more layered, complex, and joyful once we’ve seen thousands of silvery fish swoop down on land with an urgent goal. and explicit: spawn.

It’s the grunion we’re talking about here, a water dweller that, and we’re not pulling the fin on anyone here, periodically leaves its damp home for drier shores, all to ensure the creation of more grunion.

Do you see that? The sand you love will only be more magical, surreal and even bewitched.

There is no witchcraft involved, however: it is science, and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is ready to show fish lovers and seafood connoisseurs how and why the tenuis wriggles on certain beaches, certain nights of the year, to keep the grunion line strong.

“Meet the Grunion” is the name of the San Pedro institution’s annual program, and it will return to our worlds, on a few select spring nights, beginning Monday, April 18.

We know that date is a Monday, not a weekend, but think for a moment: the grunion doesn’t know what “Monday” is, and trying to explain it to it, while it’s actively spawning, is a task best left unfinished.

The informative events will take place when the grunions are expected to appear on the beach near the aquarium, and the last gathering of grunions is scheduled for mid-June.

The one in the aquarium FISH-TIVAL, which is a special version of “Meet the Grunion”, with crafts, activities and other events? This will queue on the first day of June 2022.

Secure your ticket at one of the grunion-fun parties is a good idea, and reading up on everything you need to know, like how to dress warmly, is also wise.

As for the grunion that shows up? It’s at the court of nature, and down to the ancient cycles that roar far beyond our human reach, which is a comfort.

So fingers and fins crossed to see the fish on the sand, if you attend one of these captivating evenings.