Anyone interested in keeping an eye on grunion and becoming an official “Grunion Greeter” is invited to a training session from 6 to 8:30 p.m. April 2 at the Birch Aquarium.
The volunteers are part of a program conducted by Pepperdine University in partnership with regional organizations and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Marine Fisheries Service Southwest Region, Habitat Conservation Division.
The study involves hundreds of volunteers who are monitoring the spawning activity and habitat of the silvery little fish found on the beaches of Southern California and Mexico, according to a news release.
While grunion runs typically draw crowds, during April and May they cannot be caught, so Grunion.org says this is the best time for observation.
After observing a run, the “greeters” submit information via an online form and a phone hotline.
Grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) are found only in California and Baja California, it states. “They spawn on the sandy beaches of the outer coast and protected bays. Their eggs remain buried in the sand, incubating for about two weeks until they wash out and hatch. Another species, the Gulf Grunion L. sardina, lives in the Gulf of California.”
Concerned about how beach grooming practices were affecting the fish, researchers launched a study in San Diego that altered how beaches are cleaned.
Volunteers must be 18 or older and willing to spend two hours on specific nights monitoring the fish. Attendance at the workshop is required, but participants may select from a list the nights and beaches they want to work.
Workshop space is limited. Reservations are required by March 27.
firstname.lastname@example.org include your name, e-mail, phone number and mailing address. Write “BAS Workshop” in the subject line.
Workshops in other areas are also planned. Check
www.Grunion.orgfor a complete list of dates and locations.