“Catch A Special Thrill” for Kids Foundation (C.A.S.T.) is a public 501(c) 3 Charitable Organization formed in 1991 to connect volunteers who love fishing and the outdoors with disabled and disadvantaged children who have an opportunity to enjoy their own fishing experience. C.A.S.T. hosts two successful programs: the C.A.S.T. For Kids Program and the Fishing Kids Program. Reclamation has been involved with C.A.S.T. since 1992.
At most C.A.S.T. events, youth are provided gifts such as free fishing gear, tackle boxes, hats and T-shirts, a picnic lunch, an award with their photo, and goodie bags. Some events include contests to see who catches the largest fish while others orchestrate raffles to win prizes. These events involve numerous volunteers from Reclamation and other organizations who contribute both time and resources. Volunteers include: boat captains from fishing organizations, people from surrounding communities, first aid station attendants, and qualified volunteers providing water and boat safety demonstrations.
C.A.S.T. has a national presence allowing children everywhere and of any means an opportunity to learn about water resources and fishing.
C.A.S.T. and Reclamation
Former Pacific Northwest Regional Director/Commissioner John Keys and Wayne Deason of the Denver Office were both early champions of C.A.S.T. events and the Reclamation partnership with the organization. Both Keys and Deason worked tirelessly to make C.A.S.T. events part of Reclamation’s official public outreach.
In 2007, C.A.S.T. events fulfilled the Secretary of the Interior’s call for agencies to highlight the issue of getting youth to appreciate and have fun in the outdoors.
In 2008, the Bureau of Reclamation sponsored 22 C.A.S.T. events throughout the summer and early fall. In the 2009 season, there were an additional 19 events which drew an estimated 703 youth and their families.
C.A.S.T. events often take place on public lands or reservoirs owned or operated by Department of the Interior agencies such as Reclamation, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Legislative Authorities and Departmental Goals
Reclamation has a stewardship responsibility to improve and provide increased recreational fishing opportunities through several activities as required by the following laws:
- The Federal Water Project Recreation Act (P.L. 89-72 as amended, most notably by Title XXVIII of P.L. 102-575),
- Take Pride in America Act (16 U.S.C. 4601-12 et seq. and 16 U.S.C. 4601-31 et seq.).
Reclamation partners with C.A.S.T. by using the authority of the Take Pride in America Act (16 U.S.C. 4601 et, seq). A delegation agreement between the Department and Reclamation was signed in 2008. It delegates authority to Reclamation for Take Pride in America program activities. C.A.S.T. events are therefore, officially designated as “Take Pride in America” events.
Also, C.A.S.T. events meet the criteria for the President’s “United We Serve” campaign, as well as the Secretary of Interior’s “Youth Initiative,” which encourages educational opportunities about public lands and waters for diverse groups of young people.
Visit the official C.A.S.T. for Kids website for additional information or view C.A.S.T. activities in the Great Plains Region, Upper Colorado Region or Mid-Pacific Region. C.A.S.T. events are also held in the Pacific Northwest Region and in the Lower Colorado Region.