Ocean Outlook

COASTWIDE - Marine forecasts are calling for excellent water conditions for pleasure crafts to venture out of ports for bottomfishing. Most near-shore reefs should be good for black and blue rockfish, though lingcod catches have waned as adults have moved farther from shore.

Another series of morning minus tides are occurring through Tuesday, making for another round of excellent clamming conditions. Charleston Flat, Pigeon Point, Fossil Point and Clam Island in the Charleston/Empire area of Coos Bay are the closest/best clamming spots for Rogue Valley shellfishers. Remember to get a shellfish license. The entire coast remains open for clamming. The daily limit for razor clams is the first 15 taken regardless of size or condition.

For more information on clamming check www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/shellfish.

COOS BAY - Digging for clams in Coos Bay should be very good during next week's morning low tides. Sturgeon fishing remains good in the bay, especially in Isthmus Slough and the spot where the Millicoma and South Coos rivers flow together. Shad fishing is slow. Crabbing is slow.

BROOKINGS - Surfperch fishing remains excellent and catches have been reported at most beaches around Brookings and Gold Beach. The forecast for low surf means the surfperch will be in close during high tides.

Bottomfishing remains good, and with flat seas look for excellent catches throughout the weekend. The marine daily bag limit remains six fish (including rockfish, greenling and other marine species), two lingcod and 15 surfperch. Yelloweye rockfish and canary rockfish must be released. The minimum length for lingcod is 22 inches, for cabezon it is 16 inches and for greenling it is 10 inches.

GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing remains very good in the lower estuary and around beaches close to the Rogue River mouth. Female surfperch are starting to head to estuaries to give birth. Spring chinook fishing was decent this week for bank and boat anglers in the lower 18 miles of river.

WINCHESTER BAY - Spring chinook continue to move into the bay, but catches are light. Sturgeon fishing remains fair and fish are scattered throughout tidewater. Crabbing is slow.

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