"Walking" Fish Make Annual California Appearance
Hunting, habitat loss could be taking a toll on iconic grunion.
Just after nightfall in southern California, on sandy stretches of Pacific shoreline, a piece of marine folklore is coming to life.
Grunion are skinny, silvery little fish only 5 to 6 inches (13 to 15 centimeters) long. They're not harvested commercially, and they'd probably go unnoticed if it weren't for the unusual way they spawn.
But the way they flop, en masse, out of the water and onto the shoreline, dig into the sand to lay eggs, and then scoot back into the surf has become the stuff of legend in southern California.
Natives get a kick out of taking out-of-town guests to see the nighttime spectacle, which occurs each year between March and August on beaches from Point Conception, just north of