Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Dec. 20
Grunion Running, Snakes Emerging
Grunion Runs are predicted to occur during the late evening hours (generally after 10 p.m. and before 1 a.m.), following the nocturnal high tide, on May 3 though May 6. The small, silvery grunion tend to spawn on wide, gently sloping beaches such as Silver Strand, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla Shores, and Del Mar. During the months of April and May, grunion are protected and may not be taken by fishers through any means. Open season for grunion starts in June, and from then until the end of summer, the fish can be collected in reasonable numbers using the hands only (fishing license needed for persons 16 years of age and older). For more information, visit dfg.ca.gov/marine/grunionschedule.asp.
Snakes, encouraged by recent warm temperatures, have already emerged from burrows and rock crevices to hunt for prey throughout the county's lower-elevation hillsides and canyons. Gopher snakes, garter snakes, king snakes, rosy boas (all harmless), and three varieties of rattlesnakes — red diamond, speckled, and Southern Pacific rattlesnakes (all poisonous) — have been sighted. Close encounters with rattlesnakes are not uncommon wherever residential properties abut undeveloped land — a common situation throughout San Diego County.