Mid-April Update for Grunion Greeters, 2017

A Message from Karen Martin, Ph.D., Pepperdine Professor of Biology

Let's go to a grunion run! (click on images to enlarge)

Photo by K. Martin

Thanks to the four dozen enthusiastic volunteers who came out to the Birch Aquarium for our first training workshop in six years!  It was nice to see some familiar faces and new friends. Happily the grunion turned out big-time for the first monitored runs in mid-April, and we are back in the greeting mode.

April in San Diego
Photo by Maggie Manaster

We had grunion reports as far north as Santa Barbara, with strong runs on multiple beaches. Here’s a W-4 from Los Angeles County, photo by Jeff Lai.

A W-4
Photo by Jeff Lai

This was big fun for the grunion and also for our greeters: Melissa Studer took this photo of Carina York and Cindy Jensen-Elliott with their new friends on the beach.

Carina York and Cindy Jensen-Elliott
Photo by Melissa Studer

And after the party’s over, the birds come by the next morning for a feast. Dean Schaff caught this mixed flock over brunch. These include migratory and resident birds taking advantage of the grunion’s hidden Easter eggs.

Photo by Dean Schaff

The surfing silversides have many fans nationally and internationally. If you like your stories told with an Irish accent, “Mooney Goes Wild” is for you, a podcast of a nature program broadcast in Ireland. Here is the link, and expect just a little bit of blarney.

They may have been banned from the White House but we appreciate the fact-finding mission of the New York Times. Their recent article on California’s elusive surfing fish is found here.

Thanks for your enthusiasm and your reports. For those who saw smaller runs or no fish, take heart, the season has just begun. Remember that April and May are CLOSED SEASON, no take, so the fish can spawn undisturbed. Please take care to observe and conserve when you are out on the beach in their critically important habitat.

The next runs are at the end of April – may the fish be with you!

Cheers,
Karen

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