Capturing California Grunion Runs 2010

Applied Monitoring

UPDATE 3/29/10: CoastalCOMS Grunion Coverage in the Orange County Register

UPDATE 3/17/10: Video of Strong Run at Doheny Beach, CA

The CoastalCOMS team is operating a multi-camera, mobile, beach camera unit this spring and recording late into the night in hopes of ‘catching’ local fish.   We’ve coordinated our efforts with local grunion experts, and our goal is to provide thermal and low lux video and images of the beach and surf zones to those interested in the annual grunion runs along the California coast.

Picture of CoastalCOMS Mobile Beach Camera for Grunion MonitoringWhile it’s understood the fish themselves don’t produce a heat signature, thermal imaging may be useful for viewing the water and beach areas in which these fish are spawning.  By looking for patterns in the sand with thermal cameras and comparing with imaging from low lux or infrared video cameras, we expect we’ll be able to provide indications of fish and wildlife activities and human interactions/impacts during the spawning events.

We’ll be focused primarily on Doheny Beach early in the season, but ultimately may move as far North or South as Santa Barbara or San Diego as we seek to provide useful visual observations of at least one high activity area for the 2010 season.

Grunion Cam Broadcasting Live

During our observation runs, we’re broadcasting imaging live from the mobile unit.  If you’re a coastal scientist or research organization interested in remote control of the cameras or in outputs and outcomes – please drop us a line for a schedule of when we’ll be on the beach.

Sample recordings from the early season are already available – see the CoastalCOMS Youtube Channel and let us know what you think.

For more information on this unique little fish, check out

March 16th, 2010: First Grunion of the Season Caught on CoastalCOMS Mobile Thermal Imaging System

These first images are from a W2 size run at Doheny, and we are now positive we can see the fish on the sand. Teaser sample of what this looks like on the CoastalCOMS Youtube Channel. Also of note, there are Great Blue Herons and birdlife in this video…

March 17th, 2010: Strong, Early Season Grunion Run at Doheny Beach, CA

We’re excited to say that last night we captured what experts on site tell us was a 2 or 3 on the Walker scale. The video clearly shows birds and humans interacting with the run from scouts to finish. Check out the video here for a 10 min clip, and please contact us for access to raw footage.

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