Trash Trouts emptied out — again!

Environmental, Sound Rivers

Posted on September 1st, 2022

Lori Gaskins and Pamela Jean sift through trash retrieved from the New Bern Trash Trout.

What became very clear shortly after Trash Trout were installed on Jack’s Creek in Washington and Duffyfield Canal in New Bern is that when it rains, it pours a lot of trash into your creeks … which lead to your rivers.

A trio of New Bern volunteers — Pamela Jean, Lori Gaskins and Roger Montgomery — teamed up with Sound Rivers’ Staff Scientist Katy Hunt on Monday to clean out the Trash Trout on Duffyfield Canal and do an audit of the trash collected.

“Our favorite finds were a large barrel, a DVD case and Barbie Doll parts. Other than that, the overwhelming majority of our haul was Styrofoam and small, plastic fragments,” Katy said.

Meanwhile, in Washington, a team of dedicated volunteers hit Jack’s Creek on Tuesday morning to clear out the trash that’s accumulate in the litter trap. Sound Rivers’ board member Betsy Hester took down the trash tally as litter was sifted through, one piece at a time.

Volunteer Christina Marshen takes a selfie with the Jack’s Creek Trash Trout and the team about to tackle its trash.

Thank you, to our volunteers for helping us with this important, statewide project! The Trash Trout installations and auditing are part of a two-year-long microplastics monitoring project that North Carolina’s 14 Riverkeepers are participating in. The goal is to understand how plastics break down in our waterways, as well as how they’re getting there.

For more information about what Trash Trouts do and the microplastics monitoring project, go here. If you’d like to volunteer to audit a Trash Trout — we’d be glad to have your help! — email


Here’s the latest count for Trash Trout Washington:

Plastic Film

Bags: 26

Food wrappers: 2

Other plastic film: 2

Fragments: 36


Hard Plastics

Bottles: 27

Lids and caps: 8

Straws: 4

Cigarette butts: 277

Cigar filters: 5

Fragments: 13

Lighters: 2



Cups: 8

Take-out containers: 5

Packing material: 4

Other: 1

Fragments: 334



Drink cans: 12

Fragments: 2



Whole bottles: 1


Other material

Paper: 1

Rubber: 1

Face masks: 1


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