California Grunion Run Schedule

Expected California Grunion Runs 2022

You must have a fishing license to catch grunion. You can't just go up to the beach and begin picking them up or touching them without a license. California grunion are similar fish to smelt. People catch them with their bare hands only and aren't allowed to dig holes to catch them. The grunion runs are when the fish spawn on the beach and are timed with the tides. Grunion are somewhat hearty but like other fish, are susceptible to pollution and human activities. Grunion Greeters are trained volunteers who stand on the beach during the first few months of the run season, observing the fish activities and recording them for NOAA records and the Grunion Greeter science project.

Grunion Run Schedule

If it seems the current season is taking longer to post than usual, Grunion Season 2022 February reports indicate grunion populations declined across southern California. Changes in regulations with longer seasonal closure and limits on recreational fishing have been recommended by the Marine Resources Committee and were discussed by the California Fish and Game Commission at their meeting February 16, 2022. 

Open Season 2022 Runs

MARCH 2022

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

March 2, 2022, 9:40-11:40 p.m.
March 3, 2022, 10:10 p.m.-12:10 a.m.
March 4, 2022, 10:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m.
March 5, 2022, 11:05 p.m.-1:05 a.m.
March 18, 2022, 10:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m.
March 19, 2022, 11 p.m.-1 a.m.
March 20, 2022, 11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
March 21, 2022, 12:05 a.m.-2:05 a.m.*

* Where the run starts after midnight, the date of the previous evening is shown.

JUNE 2022

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    

June 1, 2022, 10:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m.
June 2, 2022, 11:10 p.m.-1:10 a.m.
June 14, 2022, 9:35 p.m.-11:35 p.m.
June 15, 2022, 10:25 p.m.-12:25 a.m.
June 16, 2022, 11:15 p.m.-1:15 a.m.
June 17, 2022, 12:10 a.m.-2:10 a.m.*
June 29, 2022, 9:50 p.m.-11:50 p.m.
June 30, 2022, 10:25 p.m.-12:25 a.m.

* Where the run starts after midnight, the date of the previous evening is shown.

JULY 2022

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            

July 1, 2022, 11 p.m.-1 a.m.
July 2, 2022, 11:35 p.m.-1:35 a.m.
July 13, 2022, 9:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
July 14, 2022, 10:20 p.m.-12:20 a.m.
July 15, 2022, 11:10 p.m.-1:10 a.m.
July 16, 2022, Midnight-2 a.m.*
July 28, 2022, 9:40 p.m.-11:40 p.m.
July 29, 2022, 10:10 p.m.-12:10 a.m.
July 30, 2022, 10:45 p.m.-12:45 a.m.
July 31, 2022, 11:20 p.m.-1:20 a.m.

* Where the run starts after midnight, the date of the previous evening is shown.

AUGUST 2021

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      

August 11, 2022, 9:25-11:25 p.m.
August 12, 2022, 10:10 p.m.-12:10 a.m.
August 13, 2022, 10:55 p.m.-12:55 a.m.
August 14, 2022, 11:45 p.m.-1:45 a.m.
August 27, 2022, 10 p.m.-Midnight
August 28, 2022, 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
August 29, 2022, 11:10 p.m.-1:10 a.m.
August 30, 2022, 11:50 p.m.-1:50 a.m.

* Where the run starts after midnight, the date of the previous evening is shown.

Closed Season, Observation Only Runs

April 1, 2022, 10:20 p.m.-12:20 a.m.
April 2, 2022, 10:50 p.m.-12:50 a.m.
April 3, 2022, 11:10 p.m.-1:10 a.m.
April 4, 2022, 11:35 p.m.-1:35 a.m.
April 16, 2022, 9:50 p.m.-11:50 p.m.
April 17, 2022, 10:20 p.m.-12:20 a.m.
April 18, 2022, 10:55 p.m.-12:55 a.m.
April 19, 2022, 11:35 p.m.-1:35 a.m.
April 30, 2022, 9:40-11:40 p.m.
May 1, 2022, 10:05 p.m.-12:05 a.m.
May 2, 2022, 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
May 3, 2022, 10:55 p.m.-12:55 a.m.
May 16, 2022, 9:50 p.m.-11:50 p.m.
May 17, 2022, 10:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m.
May 18, 2022, 11:20 p.m.-1:20 a.m.
May 19, 2022, 12:15 a.m.-2:15 a.m.*
May 30, 2022, 9:35-11:35 p.m.
May 31, 2022, 10 p.m.-Midnight

* Where the forecast run starts at or after midnight, the date of the previous evening is shown.

1. The times given for each date reflect the probable two-hour interval (Pacific Daylight Time) during which a spawning run may occur. This schedule predicts grunion runs at Cabrillo Beach near the Los Angeles Harbor entrance. The timing of the runs varies at different places along the coast: San Diego runs occur about 5 minutes earlier and Santa Barbara runs occur about 25 minutes later than the times provided here.
2. The second hour is usually better.
3. The best runs normally occur on the second and third nights of a four-night period.
4. While grunion spawn on many beaches in southern California, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife does not recommend any particular beach because of changing safety conditions and local curfews.

One of the best ways to find out which beaches have had recent runs is to call the state and county beach lifeguards who can often tell if spawning has taken place. Minus COVID curfews, there normally is a grunion program offered to the public at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro on several nights of the season. Call (310) 548-7562 for details.

REMINDER: During the open season, a California fishing license is required for persons 16 years and older. See wildlife.ca.gov.  

Grunion may be taken by hand only. No holes may be dug in the beach to entrap them. There is no bag limit, but take only the fish you can use-it is unlawful and unethical to waste fish.

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