Trash Trout volunteers needed!

Environmental, Sound Rivers, Volunteers

Posted on February 24th, 2022

Jack Smith Creek in New Bern will be one of two sites where Trash Trouts will be installed.

We need your help!

In April, Sound Rivers will be installing trash trouts on Jack’s Creek in Washington and at Jack Smith Creek in New Bern. Trash Trouts are passive litter traps that will float on the surface of the creeks, are attached to the banks, and capture all the floating trash before it ends up making its way down to the Pamlico and Neuse rivers. See how Trash Trouts work here. This project is part of a larger statewide initiative with Waterkeepers Carolina to monitor microplastic pollution in our waterways and draw attention to the problem litter, especially plastics, pose to our waterways.

How you can help
Once the trash is captured in the trap, it needs to be manually removed and “audited” — basically sorting trash to see what is ending up in there. Is most of the trash plastic bottles or straws? Styrofoam containers? It’s useful to know what kind of trash is ending up in our waterways, so we know how to prevent it in the first place.

We are looking for volunteers in Washington and New Bern:

  • Clean-Up Crew: Willing to wade into the creek and pull trash out of the trap (we can provide waders and gloves).
  • Trash Auditors: for those who don’t want to get in the creek, but want to be a part of this effort and help us tally up the trash.
  • Trash Trout Scouter: We’ve never done this before and don’t know how quickly the trout will fill up with trash. It would be great to have a few folks who can be our eyes on the trout, to swing by once a week and after a rain storm to snap a few photos and see how full the trap is, and if it’s in need of a clean out.

If you’d like to participate in our Trash Trout initiative, please email!

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