A Birch Aquarium guide points to spawning grunion in La Jolla. Photo courtesy Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Birch Aquarium naturalists will host a public viewing of the year’s first grunion run Sunday night in La Jolla.

Participants will first gather at Scripps Institution of Oceanography‘s Sumner Auditorium for an interactive presentation on grunion, which will be followed by an opportunity to witness grunion eggs hatch.

Viewers will then head to the beaches where the natural phenomenon takes place.

On certain nights between March and June, hundreds of small silver fish ride the tide onto the Southern California beaches to mate. Female grunion bury themselves halfway in the sand to lay eggs, while the males wrap themselves around the females and fertilize the eggs. They then return to sea.

Birch Aquarium staffers asked that participants bring a flashlight and a warm jacket.

Additional outings are planned for April 5 and 20, May 7 and 20 and June 5. Adult tickets are $16.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.