Image and information California Department of Fish & Game
If fishing is interfering with your business, give up your business.
~ Alfred W. Miller Work is for people who don't know how to fish.
More grunion information from the California Department of Fish & Game
Family: Atherinidae (Silversides)
Genus and Species: Leuresthes tenuis
Description: The California grunion has an elongate body and head that are more or less compressed. The mouth is small. The scales are small, smooth and firm. This species is bluish green above, silvery below, and a bright silvery band tinged with blue and bordered above with violet extends the length of the body.
Range: The California grunion occurs from Magdalena Bay, Baja California, to San Francisco, California; however, the principal range is between Point Abreojos, Baja California, and Point Conception, California.
Natural History: The food habits are not well known; however, they do eat small crustaceans and fish eggs. The life span of California grunion is usually 3 years, with some individuals surviving 4 years. The most rapid growth takes place during the first year, at the end of which they are 5 inches long and capable of spawning. The spawning behavior of grunion is one of the more unusual of all marine fishes. They are the only California fish known to strand themselves on the beach to deposit their reproductive products in the moist sand. Females, accompanied by one to eight males, swim onto the beach, dig themselves into the sand up to their pectoral fins and lay their eggs. The males wrap themselves around the female and fertilize the eggs. With the next wave the fish return to the sea. During spawning activities, grunion may make a faint squeaking noise. Spawning takes place from early March through September, and then only for 3 or 4 nights following the full moon during the 1 to 4 hours immediately after high tide. Most females spawn from four to eight times a year producing up to 3,000 eggs every 2 weeks. California grunion are non-migratory, and are most often found in schools a short distance from shore in water 15 to 40 feet deep.
Fishing Information: California grunion may only be taken by hand. No appliances of any kind may be used, and no holes may be dug in the beach. The season is closed April and May. While the California grunion may not be taken during April or May, these are good months to observe spawning activities.
Other Common Names: smelt, little smelt, grunion, lease smelt.
Largest Recorded: 7.5 inches; no weight record; however, a 7 inch female full of eggs weighed less than 2 ounces.
Habitat: Surf Environment
#2: Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; Teach a man to fish, and make him a liar for life.