Fish Out of Water: Birch Aquarium at Scripps to host grunion-run activities in La Jolla

On certain spring nights following high tides, hundreds of the small silvery fish called grunions ride the waves onto shore for a remarkable mating ritual, which happens only in Southern California from March through mid-June.

While on the beach, female grunion bury themselves halfway in the sand to lay eggs, while males wrap themselves around the females to fertilize their eggs. Then, both catch a wave to return to sea.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps naturalists will guide participants through these unforgettable nights, starting with an interactive presentation on grunion, followed by a rare opportunity to witness grunion eggs hatch before their eyes. The fun continues with a moonlight beach exploration in La Jolla to witness the grunion run, nature willing. Bring a flashlight and warm jacket.

Each event meets at Sumner Auditorium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 8622 Kennel Way, La Jolla. The cost is $14 for members, $16 for others. Ages 6-13 must attend with a paid adult. Advance reservations required by calling (858) 534-7336 or visit

— 2015 Grunion Nights in La Jolla, hosted by Birch Aquarium —

• March 22: 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

• April 5: 9:30-11:30 p.m.

• April 20: 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

• May 7: 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

• May 20: 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

• June 5: 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.