Thursday, May 31, 2007

Grunion Indicator of Beach Health?

SEAN DuFRENE / Union-Tribune
A grunion dug into the sand to lay her eggs. Little is understood about why the tiny fish choose certain beaches for their spawning.

Are Grunion, those near mythic fish who come up on the sandy beach to spawn at high tide in the early hour mornings, a possible indicator species for the health of west coast beaches? How sensitive are they do the beach quality? Will beach fill projects impact their ability to successfully spawn or limit their habitat? Or will it provide new beaches and increase their success?

Do steep beaches cause them problems?

If the sand is too fine or course will they impact their ability to spawn?

Will the sharp corners of angular sand imported for beach fill be a factor?

Scientists at Palomar College and Pepperdine want to know.

Read here to learn about research on these fascinating fish.

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