Fishing on the Caledonian Canal

The lochs of the Caledonian Canal are excellent for salmon and sea trout. You can also find brown trout, pike and lamprey (larval stages have been found), all of which have been reported from the canal.

The best months are July, August and September, but there is good fishing anytime between May and October.


Man made canal sections

Scottish Canals, as the riparian landowner, allows fishing for brown trout and other non-migratory freshwater fish along the man made sections of the Caledonian Canal – no permit is needed.  Please just remember to pay attention to other waterways users, and do check for any overhead power cables.

Occasionally salmon and sea trout may be found in the canal. Scottish Canals do not allow fishing for any salmon or sea trout present on the canal network.

Lochs and rivers

Permits are required for fishing in the local rivers and the following lochs. You can find out more or obtain a permit by contacting the following:

  • River Ness and Loch Ness – 01463 233178  (Grahams of Inverness)
  • Loch Dochfour – 01463 233178 (Grahams of Inverness)
  • Loch Oich – 01809 640000  (Aberchalder Estate)

There is free bank fishing for brown trout on Loch Ness, with light tackle only, and away from the mouth of rivers.  You must also have the landowner’s permission.  Please be aware that Ness District Salmon Fishery Board ‘water bailiffs’ enforce fisheries legislation across the Ness District;  they will request to see your permit should you be fishing from a boat (see more at

Know before you go!

Fish and fishing rights are protected in Scotland – please keep these points in mind when fishing in Scotland.

  • The maximum number of rods which can be used from a boat at any one time is four (even if there are more than four people on the boat)
  • The annual close time for salmon is 16th October to 14th January
  • The annual close time for trout is 7th October to 14th March
  • Fishing for or taking eels was banned in 2008, for conservation purposes
  • Check which methods of fishing, baits and numbers of rods are permitted before heading off on your fishing trip


Your local waterway office

Caledonian Canal Office
Seaport Marina
Muirtown Wharf
Inverness, IV3 5LE

Tel: 01463 725500