Ocean Outlook

COASTWIDE - The Dungeness crab season for sport and commercial crabbers remains open in the ocean, and crabbers have taken advantage of this week's flat seas to get good limits of nice-sized crabs off the mouth of Coos Bay and at Bandon. Body conditions of the crab are very good.

The bottomfish season is open, and anglers again can begin keeping cabezon under the 2009 quotas, which have yet to be adopted. The aggregate rockfish limit remains six fish a day. Bottomfish anglers coastwide have had a great week on black rockfish and lingcod. Rockfish anglers no longer must remain within the 20-fathom curve, opening bottomfishing opportunities in deep water.

Mostly rough conditions are forecast for the weekend, which will keep most anglers home.

The entire Oregon coast remains closed to the recreational harvest of mussels due to elevated levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins, also known as PSP. The closure includes mussels on the beaches, rocks, jetties and at the entrances to bays. In addition, only the adductor muscle of scallops are safe to eat, and people should not eat whole scallops taken in the recreational fishery.

BROOKINGS - The ocean got choppy again, and conditions looked marginal for bottomfishing through the weekend. Surfperch fishing picked up at Windchuck Beach as last week's calm waters drew surf perch in close. Prawns and mussels are working best.

GOLD BEACH - Ocean conditions were rough again, knocking crabbers and rockfishers into the estuary.

COOS BAY - A four-day series of minus tides starts around 5:30 p.m. Saturday and should provide good early-morning clamming around Charleston. Bring your flashlights and keep an eye on the water.

Good salinity levels in the bay have made for good crabbing off the sport docks. That likely will change Sunday, when more rain and freshwater runoff are forecast. Casting for black and blue rockfish off the jetties has been at the top and bottom of the tides. Watch for sneaker waves.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is starting to pick up some. Check the regulations on new size limits and measuring techniques.

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