Heaps of Dead Fish at Leadbetter Beach

Dead fish on Leadbetter Beach's shoreline (Photo by Teresa C. / edhat reader)

Does anyone know why there are tons of dead fish at the end of Leadbetter Beach? Is it a red tide?

Naturally, there are also a lot of pelicans and seagulls in the area. Video of the shoreline is available below:

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26 Comments

  1. Maybe this event will provide some information related to what’s been happening to the pelicans. Too bad they’re eating the dead fish though…
    KEYT says they are grunion. They’ve contacted NOAA. I’m sure the Museum of Natural History and UCSB Marine Science, among others, are aware of it too. There’s no info out yet.

  2. lol ….you live near the sea and don’t know about grunions and other bait fish? this is perfectly normal….and yes birds eat them.
    the night before, the grunions were on the run, hundreds and hundreds of them in massive schools, being chased by pods of dolphins and huge clicks of seals and sea lions. Grunions eventually beach themselves….this has been happening way before man was here. yearly, sometimes twice a year.

    • Sorry, but they’re not beaching themselves to avoid predators. A grunion run is a massive spawning event. The females come in on waves, dig a hole with their tails and then the males sweep in and fertilize them. It’s really cool to watch, been doing it since I was a kid. Maybe dial back the condescension if you’re not sure?

      • i never stated they breached themselves to avoid predators. man you people on Edhat sure love to argue! About anything! No, and don’t take my posts/words out of context. I live on a boat and have been fishing and diving for the past 40 years. I was on the wharf with my kids watching what I posted/stated.
        Sorry, but you misquoted me. I said they were being chased by pods of dolphins, and seals and sea lions. Then I stated that they eventually beach themselves. Dial back the condescension? lol ok whatever dude. I’m very sure.
        Funny thing about edhat denizens, yall love to be condescending and argumentive and seem to relish in misquoting people. Its ok, not like i’m coming back (ever) with excitement to see your lame reply.
        at least that’s what everyone says when I bring up this forum hahaha

        • Sure sounded like that’s what you wrote.

          Come on. You were totally snarky about “you live near the sea and don’t know about grunions and other bait fish” and now you’re being worse. I generally agree with you on stuff, but the attitude towards the OP wasn’t needed.

  3. Grunion runs are not operations of surgical precision.
    Like NKlein notes, there are predators offshore causing disruptions, additionally, the grunions can’t control the shape or slope of the sand and they also sometimes get slopped up further onto the beach by waves than they can handle. This isn’t scientific at all, but grunion live 3-4 years and I’m guessing if a grunion is near the end of its individual natural life span anyway, the stress and physical demands of the spawning event could be the end for elderly amongst the rest of the grunions. This event looks to me to be a case where shape of the beach combined with wave slop tossed grunions too far up onto the beach

    • Yeah, like I said before to yinyang (and proceeded to get hassled by a couple folks) – I agree, Edney, this stuff happens a lot in nature. No need to launch an investigation or look to the local news to find someone or something to blame. There are often mass die-offs all around the natural world, especially in the ocean environment. A science background and time spent around the ocean helps us to understand this. There are lots of boom and bust years, especially for low on the food chain fish like grunion.

        • BASIC – if I said you said the word, “common,” I would have put it in quotes (” ” <- these, not ' ' <- as you like to use incorrectly). My point is, you and KNEIN came in here crapping on people (like you LOVE to do every day for no reason, like here) for wondering about this UNCOMMON occurrence in this area as if they were stupid for asking. It's literally your MO.

          I'll keep calling you (and anyone else) out for being jerks to others who are simply asking questions. It's fun for me.

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