Saturday, June 8, 2013

grunion greeting, 2013 #3

new moon cycle, 10:23-11:40, cloudy skies

Welp, every grunion greeting night we've done has been a little bit different than the others. The only person we knew who showed up was Bob Lea, a retired marine biologist with the CA Fish and Game (er, Fish and Wildlife).  He has that calm, solid demeanor of someone who has spent a majority of his life outdoors.  There were several other people on the beach and the wharf with buckets and big lights, out to experience the spectacle that is a grunion run.  It's open season now, but I wish it wasn't since grunion in Monterey is such a rare sight.  One lady came for her grandchild, and she ended up having more fun chasing grunion than the boy who was quite scared of the fish.  I laughed at her pure joy and exuberance, even though I felt a little sorry for the mating grunion she snatched up.  Bob convinced a couple of the grunion captors to allow him to measure their caught fish.  In a dry bucket, the grunion quickly lose their blush or mint green glow and become quite silvery.  There was also a luau being held at the recently renamed Del Monte Beach House, complete with 80's dance music and karaoke, judging by the tone-deaf singing we heard.

Once again, the grunion did not disappoint.  Why couldn't we have seen this from 2009-2011? Numerous scouts were first spotted right after we arrived ~10:25.  Then shortly after high tide of 10:43, the grunion runs peaked with a couple hundred on the beach at a time.  The waves had an incredible reach up the sand, leaving many of us soaked.  I'm debating whether to report this as a W-2 or a W-3; the numbers were slightly less than the first night after the full moon 2 weeks ago.  The fish petered out by 11:05, right before last call for alcohol and horrendous singing ensued from the luau. After most of the people left, Charlie and 3 of his night heron buddies joined the after-party.  A gull gobbled up a lone grunion at 11:27.  We ducked out very pleased with our excursion at 11:40.


Imperfect and Tense said...

LOL! What would be the perfect musical accompaniment to your grunion greeting?

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Ooh, Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" would be perfect.

Imperfect and Tense said...

That's one soulful sounding fish.