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Ocean Outlook: Aug. 12, 2010

Coastwide - Lighter winds and lower seas are forecast for the weekend, particularly south of Cape Blanco, and that should make for decent fishing opportunities regardless of the species.

Bottomfish anglers must remain within the 20-fathom curve to reduce the bycatch on canary and yelloweye rockfish. That means staying in waters less than 120 feet deep. So far that hasn't hampered success on black and blue rockfish, which anglers reported catching at or near daily limits with regularity. Also, the cabezon limit has been reached, so all cabezon must be released unharmed.

The marine aggregate limit remains seven rockfish a day and two lingcod a day with a 22-inch minimum.

Razor clam digging is closed from Bandon north to Tillamook Head due to elevated levels of domoic acid. For more information and updated closures, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474. Beaches from Tillamook Head north to Cascade Head are open for razor clams, but Clatsop beaches are closed.

Last week's all-depth halibut fishery was excellent out of Coos Bay and Newport. The next open dates are Friday and Saturday Aug. 20-21 between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain near Port Orford. Fishing will be open every-other Friday and Saturday until the quota of 141,265 pounds is met, or Oct. 30.

The ocean season for fin-clipped coho salmon has picked up a bit near Newport and Winchester Bay, but it remains light in the Brookings area. Three out of every 10 boats are catching fish now. Fewer than one in 10 boats are catching chinook in the ocean.

The fin-clipped coho quota is 26,000 fish, and the season is concurrent with the chinook season south of Cape Falcon.

Dungeness crabbing in bays off public docks in Winchester Bay and Charleston has been fair, but most of the crabs recently molted so the meat is of poor quality.

Tuna have moved within 20 to 30 miles of Newport and Coos Bay, with anglers averaging five fish each per trip.