Sound Rivers investigates catfish pond discharge

Algal Blooms, Environmental, Sound Rivers, Tar-Pamlico Watershed, Water Quality

Posted on August 24th, 2023

Water-Quality Specialist Taylor Register takes a turbidity reading at Tranter's Creek.

A caller reporting a problem on a Pamlico River tributary sent Water-Quality Specialist Taylor Register out to investigate this week.

The issue was the drainage of catfish ponds near Tranter’s Creek.

“All surface waters of Tranter’s Creek and surrounding wetland areas were covered in a pale white film, and the film itself was extremely oily to the touch and smelled of fish,” Taylor said. “The oil layer coated our sample bottles, and the fish smell persisted in the bottles even back at the office.”

A call to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality revealed that the agency is aware of the draining of the old commercial ponds, according to Sound Rivers Executive Director Heather Deck. However, the pond contents should not be reaching the creek itself. DEQ staff said the agency would continue monitoring the issue.

Sound Rivers encourages anyone that sees what looks like a water-quality problem on the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico and their tributaries to report it via a phone call to 252-946-7211, an email to or report a problem here on our website.

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