Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Grunion Run

So Ryan and I might try this GRUNION RUN thing out!! I think it would be really cool to see... What am I talking about you ask? Check it out:

Grunion leave the water at night to spawn on the beach in the spring and summer months for four consecutive nights starting the nights of the full and new moons. Spawning begins after high tide and continues for several hours. As a wave breaks on the beach, grunion swim as far up the slope as possible. The female arches her body and excavates the semifluid sand with her tail to create a nest. She twists her body and digs until she is half buried in the sand with her head sticking up. She then deposits her eggs in the nest. Males curve around the female and release milt. The milt flows down the female’s body until it reaches and fertilizes the eggs. As many as eight males may fertilize the eggs in a nest. After spawning, the males immediately retreat toward the water while the female twists free and returns with the next wave. While spawning may take only 30 seconds, some fish remain stranded on the beach for several minutes.

Spawning occurs from March through August, and occasionally in February and September. Peak spawning is late March to early June. Mature individuals may spawn during successive runs at about 15-day intervals. Females can spawn up to six times each season. Females lay between 1,600 and 3,600 eggs during one spawn, with larger females producing more eggs.

The eggs are deposited during the highest tides of the month and incubate in the sand during the lower tide levels, safe from the disturbance of wave action. The eggs are kept moist by residual water in the sand. The eggs hatch during the next high tide series when they are inundated with sea water and agitated by rising surf. This occurs after about 10 days.

I know, it sounds weird, right?! THAT'S WHY I WANT TO CHECK 'EM OUT!! On the schedule it says : The times given for each date reflect the probable two-hour interval during which a spawning run may occur. The second hour is usually better. The best runs normally occur on the second and third nights of the four-night period. And guess what... TOMORROW IS ONE OF THOSE THIRD NIGHTS - August 1 We 11:30 PM - 1:30 AM.

Check out more info at the GRUNION SITE!! Hopefully we will be able to see some of them!! Wish us some grunion luck :)

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