“Love the CAST event at New Melones. My son Connor was beyond excited and the event lived up to our expectations and beyond. All the people and volunteers were wonderful and were very good with my son and myself. Will do it again.” – Parent, Lake New Melones 

This is a C.A.S.T. for Kids event designed to provide children with disabilities, ages 5 – 17, the opportunity to enjoy a quality outdoor recreational experience through the  sport of fishing. Take to the water with C.A.S.T. for an unforgettable morning of fishing and boating!

Event Location

Lake New Melones
Sonora, California (map)

Event Contacts

Event Coordinator

Josh Pelham

(209) 536-9094 ext 336


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Read About Past Events

2016 Event Recap: 

Our 2016 New Melones Reservoir C.A.S.T. For Kids event went very well with everyone enjoying themselves out on the water. Participants caught a few fish this year, which was an improvement from last year’s event.  The lunch was delicious and there was an assortment of healthy snacks provided throughout the morning. Ranger activities were offered to the participants through out the morning and lunch. The kids had a chance to make fish print T-shirts, win prizes, and take part in water safety games like “Save the Ranger.” Volunteer support was excellent this year, with plenty of enthusiastic help. Many of our fishermen volunteers are seasoned C.A.S.T. veterans and really enjoy their time with the kids. We are thinking in 2017 to have the event earlier in the year before the hot weather sets in. We hope this will also allow for better fish catching due to more fish living in the shallows.

2015 Event Recap: article by event coordinator:

Reclamation staff from the Central California Area Office’s New Melones Lake held their annual C.A.S.T. (Catch a Special Thrill) for Kids fishing event on Saturday, October 10, at the Mark Twain Recreation Area.   Although a prolonged drought has dramatically impacted New Melones, low lake levels did not discourage an eager group of young boys and girls from enjoying a day of fishing.

The event provides an opportunity for disabled and disadvantage children to team with sponsors and experienced anglers for a day of fishing and enjoyment.  This year 26 children, ages 4 to 15, participated along with 15 volunteers and 10 Reclamation employees.   All participants were provided with a free fishing rod and reel, bait and tackle equipment, C.A.S.T. ball cap and T-shirt and personalized plaques commemorating the day.  New Melones Marina and Reclamation made boats available, giving children a chance to be out on the water and access to a safe area for shoreline fishing.  The morning was warm and the fish not especially plentiful, yet, for most of these first time anglers the day was nonetheless thrilling!

Fishing was the highlight but participants also connected to the region’s resources through games and activities provided by Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Outdoor fun and fishing builds up an appetite, and, by noon, everyone was ready to eat.  For lunch, the Messengers Motorcycle Club provided a delicious BBQ spread.   An assortment of fruits, snack bars and bottled water, donated by Mountain Oasis, was also available helping to make the day fun, healthy and nutritious.

C.A.S.T. events tie into the Department of the Interior’s Let’s Move Outside initiative (http://www.letsmove.gov/lets-move-outside), which encourages children and their families to enjoy outdoor activities that abound in every city, town and community. For information on C.A.S.T. for Kids, please visit http://www.castforkids.org/. For information on New Melones Lake, please visit www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/newmelones/.

2014 Event – Calaveras Enterprise article

2013 Event – Outdoors Notebook article

Thanks to our Event Sponsors

Bureau of Reclamation, Arnold Rotary International, Roto Rooter, 4H Club, New Melones Lake Marina, Mountain Oasis Water, Kokanee Power, Jay C. Wallace Plumbing, Glory Hole Sports, Columbia Communications, Tuolumne County Sheriffs Dept., Calaveras County Sheriffs Dept., California Fish and Wildlife, Messengers MC Club,  McCoy Tire, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Save Mart Supermarkets, The ARC, Lews, Flambeau

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