Since the first event held 1992 at Banks Lake, Washington, the Bureau of Reclamation and the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation have worked together to improve accessibility to outdoor recreation on Reclamation’s reservoirs for disabled and disadvantaged children.
The program sees children with disadvantages as people first, and each C.A.S.T. for Kids event reiterates that concept.
C.A.S.T. for Kids events provide a free opportunity for children with disabilities and/or disadvantages to experience real, accessible fishing excursions, chartered by volunteer boat captains who donate their time, smiles, and boats for one day fishing trips. The children are given their own rod, reel, and tackle box which they learn to use while on their trip.
Catching fish is only half the fun for participants. When each boat trip come to an end, children return to the shore where they enjoy a nice picnic with family and new friends. The event concludes with an award ceremony which provides a plaque to each participant to commemorate the experience.
The late, former Reclamation Commissioner John Keyes III and Reclamation employee Wayne Deason worked together to create the partnership between Reclamation and C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation back in 1992. The program now averages about eighteen events throughout the West each year.
Between 2010 and 2016 alone, the partnership between Reclamation and C.A.S.T. has touched the lives of 4,375 children. More than 7,800 individuals have volunteered their time since the program’s inception in 1992.
In 2016, C.A.S.T. for Kids events were held in the following locations:
Navajo Lake, Durango, Colorado
Strawberry Reservoir, Utah
Elephant Butte, Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Lake Powell, Utah
Sarge Hubbard Pond, Yakima, Washington
Prineville Reservoir, Prineville, Oregon
Burley Boat Dock, Burley, Idaho
Potholes Reservoir, Grant County, Washington
Black Canyon Reservoir, Gem County, Idaho
Henry Hagg Lake, Gaston, Oregon
Lake Bastrop, Bastrop, Texas
Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins, Colorado
Angostura Reservoir, Falls River County, South Dakota
Lake Thunderbird, Norman Oklahoma
Lake Pleasant, Peoria, Arizona
Lake Mead, Mohave County, Nevada
New Melones Lake, California
Lake Berryessa, Napa County, California