The lochs of the Caledonian Canal are excellent for salmon and sea trout. You can also find brown trout, pike and lamprey. Scottish Canals allows fishing for brown trout and other non-migratory freshwater fish along the man made sections of the Caledonian Canal – no permit is needed.

Permits are required for fishing in the local rivers and River Ness and Loch Ness, Loch Dochfour and Loch Oich.

July, August and September are the best months, but you can enjoy good fishing right the way through from May to October.


Whether or not you need a permit depends on where you’re fishing.

Further information


Inverness - Fort William
Caledonian Canal

Opening Hours




Permits required

Man-made canal sections

You don’t need a permit if you’re fishing for brown trout and other non-migratory freshwater fish along the man-made sections of the canal. Fishing for salmon or sea trout isn’t permitted anywhere on our canals. 

Please be aware of other waterways users and keep a lookout for overhead power cables.

Lochs and rivers

You’ll need a permit to fish in the local rivers, as well as the following lochs. Call the numbers below for more information and to get a permit.

  • River Ness and Loch Ness – 01463 233178 (Grahams of Inverness)
  • Loch Dochfour – 01463 233178 (Grahams of Inverness)
  • Loch Oich – 07796 456026 (Garry Fishings)

Bank fishing for brown trout on Loch Ness is free, provided you’re only using light tackle, stay away from the mouths of rivers and have the landowner’s permission. If you’re fishing from a boat, Ness District Salmon Fishery Board ‘water bailiffs’ will ask to see your permit. To find out more, visit

Know before you go!

Fish and fishing rights are protected in Scotland, so pay particular attention to the following:

  • The maximum number of rods that 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 16 October to 14 January.
  • The annual close time for trout is 7 October to 14 March.
  • Fishing for or taking eels is banned, 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

Related information