The Caledonian Canal is one of the Highlands most popular visitor attractions with over 1,400 boats transiting the canal each year.

A canal is normally provided with a water supply by means of reservoirs and feeder channels, however the Caledonian Canal is unusual in that the lochs that are its reservoirs also form part of the waterway itself, with weirs and sluices controlling the water levels.

As part of our statutory obligations as reservoir owners, works are being undertaken to safeguard the integrity of Loch Dochfour Reservoir and manage risk to the wider public and downstream.  The project which is are set to get underway in 2018/2019 will include a study of the dam breach, and a review of the flood assessment of the reservoir. There are also plans to remove the trees from the downstream face of the “fuse” weir at Torvean in order to reduce the risk of erosion in the event of an overtopping. The planned studies are required in order to check that the existing water retaining structures can withstand extreme floods.

Update December 2020

Further information on the river Ness is required by Aecom to complete the flood report and recommendations. Due to the impact of covid-19 the deadline for this has been extended to March 2021.

Update May 2020

Following the flood risk assessment in 2019, Scottish Canals has an outlook to undertake a breach study in 2020/21.

Update April 2019

The Flood Risk Assessment for Loch Dochfour Reservoir has been completed.

Tree felling and scour hole repairs to Torvean Fuse Weir have been completed.

Update October 2018

Stage 1 Flood Study has been awarded to Aecom and quotes have been invited for the tree felling and scour hole repairs on Torvean Weir.

This page will be updated as works progress.

Aerial photo of canal with bend in the path next to forrest