Ocean Outlook: July 22, 2010

Coastwide - Stiff north winds continue to foul coastal fishing, though seas are forecast to settle down this weekend. That might bring some early-morning fishing, but expect to get blown off the water early in the day.

Tuna are running 30 to 40 miles out of Newport, but they are far too far west of Brookings to reach them this week.

The closure area for razor clams runs from Bandon to Tillamook Head due to elevated levels of domoic acid. For more information and updated closures, call the shellfish hotline at 800-448-2474.

The ocean between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain near Port Orford is closed for halibut now that both the spring all-depth fishery and the near-shore fishery have reached quota. The near-shore waters south of Humbug Mountain are open, but effort and catch remains light. The next all-depth fishery opens Friday, Aug. 6. Fishing will be open every-other Friday and Saturday until the quota of 141,265 pounds is met, or Oct. 30. The near-shore halibut fishery off Central Oregon had about 30 percent of its quota left as of Tuesday.

The ocean season for fin-clipped coho has picked up a bit near Newport and Winchester Bay, but it remains light in the Brookings due largely to poor water conditions. The fin-clipped coho quota is 26,000 fish, and the season is concurrent with the chinook season south of Cape Falcon. Chinook fishing has picked up slightly but is only fair, with fewer than one in seven anglers catching a fish this past week. Troll slowly and deep for chinook. The limit remains two salmon, whether they are coho, chinook or one of each.

Bottomfish anglers must stay within the 40-fathom curve to reduce bycatch on canary and yelloweye rockfish. Focus on waters 80 to 160 feet deep and along the edges of kelp beds or near-shore rock croppings. One out of every two anglers targeting lingcod are getting one. Anglers coastwide are averaging three to five rockfish per trip. The limit is seven rockfish a day, and two lingcod a day with a 22-inch minimum.

Dungeness crabbing in bays off public docks in Winchester Bay and Charleston has been good, especially around high slack tide.

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