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Hundreds come out for annual grunion run

June 10, 2009 10:42:50 PM PDT
Hundreds of people came out to San Pedro Tuesday night to catch a glimpse of the grunion fish at Cabrillo Beach.It's mating season for the grunion, found off the California, Baja California and Mexican Gulf coasts, and it's a sight not to be missed. During the unusual mating ritual, the female grunion lay eggs on the beach and the males fertilize them. Then they both make their way back into the ocean.

This time of year people can actually, not only watch, but also catch the grunion, if they have a fishing license.

For their part, marine biologists at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium say they are working on a new grunion program to help the population grow.

According to Program Director Larry Fukuhara, a research group captures the grunions, harvests the eggs, and release the fish back into the ocean.

He described what happens next: "We raise the babies that come out of the eggs and so hopefully, some day, we might be able to start releasing some back into the ocean."

Experts say pollution and people in spawning areas have impacted the grunion's ability to thrive.

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