This coming Sept. 24 will be a day of fun for local children with special needs and their families as “C.A.S.T” returns to the O’Neill Forebay.

C.A.S.T (Catch A Special Thrill)  is sponsored by the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation, in partnership with the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority and Central California Irrigation District.

The annual event started in 2012 and continued through 2019, after which it was suspended due to covid until resuming this year.

The goal of C.A.S.T is to enrich the lives of local children with special needs, supporting their families and strengthening communities through the sport of fishing. 

Registered participants will receive a free fishing gear fun pack that includes a rod and reel, tackle box, event shirt, cap and photo plaque.

Participants must be pre-registered and between the ages of 8 and 17 years.  Space is limited.

Families can now signup  by registering online at or by calling the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors office at 209-827-8616.

C.A.S.T is also looking for experienced boaters with a boat to help children (along with their parent or guardian) learn proper fishing techniques and help them land their first catch! 

More information about C.A.S.T. events can be found at WWW.CASTFORKIDS.ORG. The goal is to make this day a joyful, inspirational, and fun day for those that participate and their families.

Beside the Exchange Contractors, other partners involved in the event include the California Department of Water Resources, CCID, State Parks, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, local FFA members and many other individuals who have come out to made it successful each year. 

Local businesses also help with contributions towards the event which helps cover some of the costs. 

The Exchange Contractors, led by Chris White, will provide breakfast and lunch for those in attendance, including the participants, their families/guardians, boaters and volunteers.

The Westside Express