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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

C.A.S.T. for Kids a Success

Region 3, June 21, 2013
A deluge of rain at sunrise left much of Blackhawk Park flooded.
A deluge of rain at sunrise left much of Blackhawk Park flooded. - Photo Credit: n/a
Following the morning's massive rainshowers the river looked like a torrent of chocolate milk.
Following the morning's massive rainshowers the river looked like a torrent of chocolate milk. - Photo Credit: n/a
After a tour of the Genoa National Fish Hatchery, special needs families wetted their lines and several feet in the special event fishing pond here.
After a tour of the Genoa National Fish Hatchery, special needs families wetted their lines and several feet in the special event fishing pond here. - Photo Credit: n/a
Judging by an abundance of excitement and smiles generated the remainder of the day, this C.A.S.T. for Kids event was a complete success.
Judging by an abundance of excitement and smiles generated the remainder of the day, this C.A.S.T. for Kids event was a complete success. - Photo Credit: n/a

Several Midwest Region fishery and refuge program offices took part in a C.A.S.T. for Kids Program on Friday, June 21. Organized by Genoa National Fish Hatchery (NFH) staff, the event was scheduled to begin at Blackhawk Park, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation area located on the Upper Mississippi River near De Soto, Wisconsin. From here, a flotilla of boats was to take the children, their families, and a guide out for a morning of exploration and fishing on Old Man River.

But Mother Nature had other ideas: a deluge of rain at sunup left much of the park flooded and the river looking like a torrent of chocolate milk. The final straw for planned events at the park came when lightning continued to prevent all boats from launching.

Fortunately, the Genoa NFH staff is accustomed to making sweet lemonade when dealt sour lemons like this. Special needs families were soon touring the hatchery, then wetted their lines and several feet at the special event fishing pond here. Stocked with a variety game fish, the most common species caught by many of the novice anglers were bluegill and rainbow trout. Judging by the abundance of excitement and smiles generated the remainder of the day, this C.A.S.T. for Kids event was a complete success!

The C.A.S.T. (Catch A Special Thrill) for Kids Foundation is a public charity formed in 1991 to join volunteers who love to fish with special needs populations for a day of fishing in the outdoors.

The Foundation currently hosts three programs: C.A.S.T. for Kids; Fishing Kids; and Take A Warrior Fishing. The C.A.S.T. for Kids Program is designed to create an environment whereby special needs children and their caretakers could benefit, leaving their problems on shore and sharing a day of fun on the water that they may not otherwise get to experience. This is all made possible through the cooperation of government agencies, national and local sponsors, and local interest groups, and creates a rare and positive experience for some of America’s overlooked youth.

More information on the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation and upcoming programs around the nation is available at www.castforkids.org/.

Contact Info: Mark Steingraeber, 608-783-8436, Mark_Steingraeber@fws.gov