The area covered by the River Tay Protection Order, does not embrace all the main tributaries, some of which are covered by a separate order. This page gives details of the main river and the tributaries which are under the Tay Order. See map on home page.
The River Tay System covers 6,475 square kilometers and is one of the largest natural drainage areas in Scotland. In looking at a map the furthest west head water is on the slopes of Ben Lui at the top of the Cononish Glen. In taking a straight line westwards the tidal waters of Loch Fyne are only a distance of 5.75 kilometers. The distance covered from the furthest west tributary to the tidal estuary at the City of Perth is 160 kilometers.
Beginning at the west most point, the small burns come together to form the River Cononish, which at the White Bridge becomes the River Fillan flowing into the first of the main lochs, Loch Dochart. There is a small canal type channel which leads to Loch Iubhair, and this loch is at the top of the River Dochart. The River Dochart is joined at Killin by the River Lochay, which rises on the slopes of Ben Chalium to the north west of Killin. These two rivers flow into Loch Tay one of the largest lochs in Scotland, and it is from the east end that the River Tay itself begins. The River Lyon has it's source among the mountains surrounding Loch Lyon, and joins the River Tay down stream from Kenmore. Stronuich Reservoir and Loch an Daimh are in Glen Lyon, and like Loch Lyon are created, or enlarged, by the hydro electric schemes. At Dunkeld the River Braan, which rises from Loch Freukie and the moorland burns around Amulree, enters the main river, . Close to the City of Perth the River Almond completes the tributaries adding it's final volume to the River Tay.
There are numerous feeder burns entering the main river and it's tributaries, and some of these are fishable in size and volume of water, but care should be taken since the spawning fish enter these burns in the early autumn.
There are natural hill lochs some of which contain good solid wild brown trout and char. These lochs have been, and still are, the subject of close study by several groups since the fish therein are of a particular genetic strain. Some of these lochs are exclusion zones and others have special terms of access, but many are accessible for those who like something a bit special in both fishing and remote scenery.
Anglers should observe local closed periods for whatever reason whether for a specific species or for other sporting activities.
There is much to challenge and enjoy in fishing for the variety of species in the Tay System, on the many beats available.