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River Carron Catchment

The River Carron rises in the uplands of Carron Valley from a spring on Meikle Bin. It flows eastwards through Carron Valley, Carron Glen, then the settlements of Denny and Larbert and Falkirk before entering the upper Firth of Forth at Grangemouth.

The catchment is split between three Local Authority administrations, which are the Falkirk Council, Stirling Council and North Lanarkshire Council.

The River Carron has a catchment area of over 220km2 (122.3 km2 above Headswood SEPA river level monitoring station, Denny). The system has a total stream network length of about 75 miles, of which the main river comprises 20 miles from Carron Valley Reservoir to the River Forth Estuary at Grangemouth.

The all-time World Record and British Record Atlantic Salmon was caught by illegal net in December 1907 on the River Forth at the confluence of the River Devon by 3 poachers and weighed 103lb 2oz. In 1908 a 62lb Salmon was captured in a bag net on the Forth Estuary in Largo Bay, on the Fife coast.

There have been reports of many 20lb - 30lb salmon caught in recent years on the River Carron.

The maximum altitude of the catchment is 570m at the top of Meikle Bin in Carron Valley.

The upper part of the catchment drains part of the Campsie Fells. Bedrock composed of igneous rocks in headwaters and Carboniferous rocks in the valley; approx. 70% of which his overlain by superficial deposits. Land use predominantly moorland and plantation forestry in headwaters, pasture and arable in lower reaches. The upper river can be classed as rural. The middle river and lower river can be classed as urban and highly populated and highly industrialised. Falkirk Council has a population of 145,000.

Migratory Fish can currently access the following breeding areas (downstream of Fankerton Weir):

• The main river body right up to Fankerton Weir
• The Bonny Burn (tributary) and its sub tributaries of the Rowan Tree Burn, the Milnquarter Burn, the Skipperton Burn, the Red Burn,    the original Bonny Burn, the Crow Wood Burn, the Glencryan Burn.
• The Avon Burn (tributary) and its sub tributaries of the Ligget Burn, the Boards Burn, the Auchenbowie Burn, the Loch Coulter Burn.
• The Castlerankine Burn (tributary)
• Little Denny Burn (tributary)
• Bainsford Burn (tributary)
• Forth & Clyde Canal at Grangemouth Lock

If migratory fish could access above the Fankerton weir fish would utilise the additional main river and tributaries as follows:
• An additional 2.4 miles of main river in Carron Glen between Fankerton Mill Dam and the Auchinlillylinnn Spout waterfall.
• The Garvald Burn (tributary) and its sub tributary the Townfoot Burn.
• The Overton Burn (tributary)
• The Buckie Burn (tributary)

Between 1985 and 1992 Larbert & Stenhousemuir Angling Club in partnership with Howietoun Fishery/Stirling University Salmon stocked a total of 182,485 juvenile hatchery reared salmon into the river, using stock of North Esk and Beauly origin. Between 1995 and 2000 FDSFB stocked a further 180,000 juvenile hatchery reared salmon into the river, using stock from various River Teith tributaries, including Bracklinn Burn, Coillechat Burn and Ardoch Burn.