River Tay

Fisherman on the River Tay at Dunkeld
©2023 Gazetteer for Scotland

Fisherman on the River Tay at Dunkeld

The Tay is the longest river in Scotland, stretching a distance of 119 miles (191 km) from the northern slopes of Ben Lui to the Firth of Tay beyond Perth. It rises as the Fillan at the western end of Breadalbane and flows southeastwards through Strath Fillan to become the Dochart at Crianlarich. From there it continues eastwards through Loch Dochart and Loch Iubhair in Glen Dochart to join Loch Tay at Killin. Issuing from the eastern end of Loch Tay the River Tay proper flows east and southeast past the settlements of Kenmore, Aberfeldy, Dunkeld and Perth before becoming the Firth of Tay near its junction with the River Earn. It has the largest catchment of any Scottish river, some 2400 sq. miles (6216 sq. km) and carries the greatest amount of water of any British river, with more water than the Rivers Thames and Severn combined. Flooding has been an ongoing problem with the worst in 1814 when the river at Perth rose 7m (23 feet) above its normal level. Following flood events in 1990 and 1993, the latter causing more than £10 million in damage, an extensive flood management scheme was put in place to protect Perth, the most vulnerable settlement, which was completed in 2001 at a cost of £25 million.

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