After all our recent rain, trash is building up around several lakes and rivers, including Douglas Lake.

"It's nothing but a ton of garbage," said Jerry Horveth.

He's lived on Douglas Lake for 40 years.

Driving up to his home, it's hard to miss the trash covering the shore of the lake. He said it's never been this bad.

"We clean it up ourselves, neighbors clean it up, but it is one bad mess," said Horveth.

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Matt Cameron with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said the high amount of rain we saw in 2018 is to blame.

"The rain comes in, it washes the creeks out, the streams out, ditches out and it brings with it all the debris and all the trash and dumps it into the rivers," said Cameron.

Those rivers feed into lakes, which TVA lowers for winter, leaving trash on the shorelines.

A lot of that trash came from miles and miles away.

"We've all heard that it goes downstream, this is a perfect example of that," said Cameron. "What you do upstream in the higher elevations is going to affect people in the lower elevations."

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People like Horveth.

"Of course we get the after effects of it," he said.

Horveth is afraid of the damage the pollution could be doing to the water. Cameron said things like human waste and old needles have been found in various waterways in the past.

Cameron said there's nothing TWRA can do to stop the trash from washing up unless someone was intentionally dumping a lot of waste into the river.

"Living on the water it's just something you have to learn to live with, unfortunately," he said.

It's up to everyone to dispose of trash properly so it doesn't end up in the water. Until then, volunteers will continue cleaning up the lake and river beds.

"Where's it go from here and who stops it? I don't know," said Horveth.

As more rain falls, more trash will be washed in until the water is refilled in the spring by TVA.

Cameron said the trash hasn't impacted the fishing on Douglas Lake, but boaters beware for big limbs washed into the lakes that could damage boats.