River Lochy

River Lochy

Lupins on gravel island, Loymouth, River Lochy

Lupins on gravel island, Loymouth, River Lochy

ImageMucomir hydro scheme

Mucomir hydro scheme

ImageBen Nevis from Loch Lochy

Ben Nevis from Loch Lochy

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The River Lochy is the most productive salmon river in Lochaber and arguably the entire west coast of Scotland. It flows south from Loch Lochy for 15km before discharging into the head of Loch Linnhe just west of Fort William. The Lochy catchment includes the steep slopes of Ben Nevis, but the river itself flows through the relatively flat plain of the Great Glen. Though wide and meandering in parts, the River Lochy is a true highland river subject to dramatic variations in flow rate. Over many years humans have greatly modified the Lochy and its catchment, for navigation and forestry and to provide electricity, drinking water and more recently farmed fish.

The Lochy is predominantly a grilse river, but is also renowned for its spring run of exceptionally large salmon. Salmon spawning occurs on the Lochy mainstem and on its tributaries, notably the Spean, Roy, Loy and Lundy. Most sea trout in the system are thought to originate from Lochs Arkaig and Lochy, which also support good brown trout and Arctic charr populations. Eel, lamprey (brook, river and sea), stickleback and flounder are also found in the catchment, and pike, minnow, stone loach and rainbow trout have been introduced by humans.

Any vacancies on the River Lochy are advertised on the River Lochy Association website. Permits for fishing on Loch Arkaig can be paid at the honesty box at Loch Lochy, near the mouth of the River Arkaig. Further information on fishing in the area can be found on the FishLochaber website.

Lochaber Fisheries Trust