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Outdoor Notes : Grunion Season Opens March 12

February 21, 1986

Department of Fish and Game biologists report that grunion should appear on sandy Southern California beaches on at least 40 nights between March 12 and July 27. Grunion are small fish that emerge on beaches at night to lay eggs in wet sand, then re-enter the ocean on a subsequent wave.

Licensed fishermen and children under 16 are allowed to pick up the grunion with their hands only, but not during April and May, when the season is closed. The DFG lists the following dates and times as offering the most favorable tidal periods for grunion catching:

March 12 (10:21 p.m.-12:21 a.m.), March 13 (10:46 p.m.-12:46 a.m.), March 14 (11:10 p.m.-1:10 p.m.), March 15 (11:36 p.m.-1:36 a.m.), March 27 (9:58 p.m.-11:58 p.m.), March 28 (10:33 p.m.-12:33 a.m.), March 29 (11:15 p.m.-1:15 a.m.), March 30 (12:08 a.m.-2:08 a.m.).

June 9 (10:32 p.m.-12:32 a.m.), June 10 (11:07 p.m.-1:07 a.m.), June 11 (11:46 p.m.-1:46 a.m.), June 13 (12:36 a.m.-2:36 a.m.), June 23 (10:45 p.m.-12:45 a.m.), June 24 (11:34 p.m.-1:34 a.m.), June 26 (12:31 a.m.-2:31 a.m.), June 27 (1:29 a.m.-3:29 a.m.).

July 8 (10:26 p.m.-12:26 a.m.), July 9 (10:58 p.m.-12:58 a.m.), July 10 (11:37 p.m.-1:37 a.m.), July 12 (12:23 a.m.-2:23 a.m.), July 23 (11:22 p.m.-1:22 a.m.), July 25 (12:11 a.m.-2:11 a.m.), July 26 (1 a.m.-3 a.m.) , July 27 (2:02 a.m.-4:02 a.m.).

Rock-climbing instructors and mountain guides from throughout the United States will meet with federal officials and insurance company executives in Las Vegas March 17 to try to resolve an insurance crisis that many mountain sports instructors say could put them out of business.

The U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service both require mountain sports instructors and guides to carry liability insurance policies, apparently a commodity in short supply today.

Said Allan Pietrasanta of Bishop, a climbing and cross country ski instructor: "Insurance companies just won't sell us coverage anymore, at any price. I've called around the country and I don't know one person in my business who's been able to buy insurance this year. Insurance companies who have in the past provided coverage are telling us all insurance companies are eliminating many coverage programs, that ours is one of them."

A 30-foot California gray whale was caught in a commercial fisherman's gill net for several hours recently in Santa Monica Bay, county lifeguards reported. A nearby fishing boat reeled in the 300-foot net and cut away the part that had trapped the whale.

Briefly Sierra Pacific Flyfishers will conduct a one-day introductory fly fishing seminar at Reseda Park March 8. . . . Arizona game wardens recently arrested four Southeast Asian immigrants near Tucson for operating a "deer processing factory on wheels." The four were found in illegal possession of four deer and butchering equipment, after callers had reported that the four were shooting deer in the area. They were fined a total of $1,950. . . . The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS) will hold its $731,000 Megabucks tournament April 5-12 at Leesburg, Fla., with 250 fishermen expected to sign up and pay $2,200 entry fees. . . . Florida has become the third state to allow state-supervised limited hunting of alligators. Louisiana and Texas are the others. . . . The San Gabriel Valley Fly Fishers will conduct a 13-week fly tying class starting March 11, 7:30 p.m., at Legg Lakes in Whittier Narrows Park. . . . Showtime: California Gun & Collectors' Show March 8-9, Los Angeles County Fairgrounds. . . . The Klamath River Basin fall king salmon spawning escapement has averaged only 40,800 fish in recent years, "significantly below long-term management goals," according to the DFG. . . . After years of requests by trout fishermen, the Arizona Game and Fish Department has recently intensified patrols of the Colorado River immediately downstream from Lake Powell. . . . Utah biologists plan to release about 20 young peregrine falcons into remote, northern Utah areas this year. . . . Arizona's Game and Fish Department is offering a $750 reward for information leading to the arrest of whomever killed an elk calf near Flagstaff Nov. 23, 1985.

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