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Salmon Ladder & Pitlochry Dam


2024 Update - The underwater viewing chamber at the Salmon Ladder is still closed at the time of writing (February 2024).

Pitlochry is famous for its hydro-electric dam and salmon ladder. The ladder was specially constructed to enable salmon to by-pass the dam and make their way upstream to Loch Faskally above. The ladder is 310 metres long and consists of 34 chambers, linked together by tunnels that the salmon can swim through. It enables around 5,000 salmon to return to their spawning grounds each year - a journey of some 6,000 miles! However, chances of seeing a salmon are slim (Autumn is usually when they are most prolific).

The dam is an impressive structure and we highly recommend you take the short walk to it. You might be lucky and see a salmon swimming through the observation chamber, we eventually got lucky ourselves and took this photo in June 2006!

A new visitor centre opened in 2017 and it has some exhibitions about the lifecycle and migration patterns of salmon, the development of hydro electric energy in Scotland and some hands on displays that children can experiment with. The visitor centre also has a cafe that overlooks the dam.

PLEASE NOTE: The observation chamber for viewing salmon passing through the ladder closed at the beginning of 2019 due to "Health & Safety" concerns. You can remotely view activity in the ladder on screens in the Visitor Centre, but it isn't as exciting as peering through the glass and seeing the fish up close. It is hoped that they will re-open the viewing chamber, but there is no schedule set.


Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5DR

Operated by:

Scottish & Southern Energy

Opening Hours:

Open all year, Mon - Sun, 9:30 am to 5.30 pm (Wed - Sun in Winter)


Admission to the salmon viewing chamber is free (Viewing chamber is currently closed)
Admission to the visitor centre is free.






To most areas, but there are steps between the top and bottom of the Salmon Ladder. The visitor centre has a few disabled parking bays beside it.







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