Boaters sail with special cargo

CAST for Kids volunteer Jay Goodell of Siletz showed his young charge a fat Dungeness crab. (Courtesy photo)

NEWPORT — Wide-eyed kids squealed in wonder at their first encounters with Dungeness crab and coho salmon during a flotilla-sized fishing event for children with special needs Saturday, July 27.

Forty youngsters and their families boarded 25 boats at Yaquina Bay during the first-ever “C.A.S.T. for Kids” fishing trip, organized by the non-profit’s Lincoln City chapter. Organizer Jay Yelas said the young anglers collected 300 crab, a couple of salmon, some herring and sea bass.

“The event was fabulous, and we plan to do it annually,” asserted Yelas, who gave credit to the 25 boat owners — half from the valley, the rest from the coast — and 47 shore volunteers, including members of Newport’s U DA MAN fishing tournament crew, who supported the effort.

“The kids had a blast exploring on Yaquina Bay,” Yelas said. “We cleaned and cooked the crabs on site and sent them home to enjoy their catch.”

Yelas recalled a mother and two children from Bend who left for Newport at 3:30 a.m.

“They said it was their big outing for the summer,” said Yelas, who recruited boats ranging from 16 to 28 feet, including several 20-ft. ‘sleds.’ “They caught 19 crab, saw whales and sea lions and went home smiling with cooked crab.”

For more information, visit the web site castforkids.org/event/newportbay.

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