Catch a Special Thrill (CAST)

CAST boat
Out to Fish on San Luis Reservoir's O'Neill Forebay

Several lakes in the California State Park System host an annual one-day fishing event for disadvantaged children with a range of special needs. The C.A.S.T. “Catch a Special Thrill” for Kids event lets children, ages 5-18, and their parents or guardians share a day of fun on the water, thanks to volunteer boaters and helpers. Each novice receives his or her own fishing rod with reel, a t-shirt, a ball cap, and a tackle box.

CAST Lake Perris
CAST group, Lake Perris State Recreation Area

An experienced volunteer angler takes the child and adult guardian out on a boat. They are given instruction in fishing techniques and some interpretive information about the natural resources they are experiencing. After their morning of fishing, all enjoy a barbecue lunch and an awards ceremony. Funding is provided through donations, sponsorships by local businesses, and through partnerships with civic and utility agencies, the Department of Water Resources, California State Parks and Cal Fire.

CAST Brannan Island
Striped bass caught at Brannan Island State Recreation Area

Venues for some of the many CAST event sites include Lake Perris State Recreation Area (SRA), Silverwood Lake SRA, Castaic Lake SRA, San Luis Reservoir SRA, Folsom Lake SRA, Brannan Island SRA, Clear Lake SP and Lake Oroville SRA.

Participants must pre-register through the CAST website linked to their local lake. For a complete list, visit

To learn more about this rewarding and fun-filled program, to volunteer or to donate, visit