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Ocean Outlook

COASTWIDE - The Dungeness crab season for sport and commercial crabbers remains open in the ocean, but crabbing success has tapered off from the holidays and should slow a little each week. Rougher seas this week forced more crabbers into bays. Boat crabbers are far out-catching dock crabbers this past month. The public docks at Coos Bay, however, are an exception.

The bottomfish season is open and anglers can keep cabezon under the 2009 quotas, which have yet to be adopted. The aggregate rockfish limit remains six fish a day. Coastwide, bottomfish anglers 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.

The ocean began to kick up Wednesday and marine forecasts look somewhat marginal for those without good sea legs.

The entire Oregon Coast is open for the recreational harvest of mussels now that levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins, also known as PSP, have finally eased to safe levels. Now open for harvest are mussels on the beaches, rocks, jetties and at the entrance to bays, and scallops.

BROOKINGS - The ocean got choppy again and conditions look marginal for bottomfishing through the weekend. Mornings could be very good for lingcod and rockfish for those staying closer to shore. Surfperch fishing has remained very good at Winchuck Beach. Prawns and mussels are working best.

GOLD BEACH - Ocean conditions were pretty rough this week, pushing crabbers to Coos Bay. Perch fishing has remained surprisingly good off the sand spit between the jetties. Fish the hour before and after high tide.

COOS BAY - The best area to crab from a boat is from the north jetty inside the bay to Clam Island. Crabbing from the Charleston docks is producing mainly red rock crabs with an occasional Dungeness crab. The best crabbing docks have been the B/C and D/E docks in Charleston. Turkey and chicken legs are working best because they stay in the rings or traps longer. Sturgeon fishing is slow.