The headwaters of the Carron are effectively compensation waters from a series of reservoirs which have been built on the system to harness water for the population of much of the eastern central belt of Scotland. The largest of these is Carron Valley Reservoir.
In its upper reaches the Carron is an attractive moorland stream with good gravels and fairly stable banks. From the point where the Earl’s Burn joins the Carron much of the riverbank has been fenced off, preventing animals grazing right down to the water’s edge, and this has contributed to the stable nature of this section of the river. About 4km downstream from the dam there is a serious obstacle to migrating fish in the form of Auchinlillylinn Spout.
From this point for a distance of about 3.5km, the river flows through the precipitous and heavily wooded gorge of the Carron Glen. This is a very attractive part of the river as it tumbles quickly downstream. The whole section is made up of waterfalls, boulder-strewn rapids, and deep pools.
As the river tumbles out of the glen there is another major obstruction just above the mill at Fankerton known as the Lady’s Loup. This is in the form of a steep cascade with a 6m high dam built at the top making it totally impassable.
Below this point the river becomes more placid with riffles and pools taking the place of the tumbling rapids in the glen above. As the river flows out into the flood plain, gravels replace the boulders. At Denny the river is joined by the Castlerankine Burn and the Anchor Burn, both of which have obstacles. The riverbanks are well wooded mainly with willows. About 3km below Denny the Carron receives the Bonny Water and the water quality deteriorates significantly. On some occasions the water is a cloudy grey colour with a distinct smell. A short way above the viaduct is a waterfall which may be an obstacle to upward migrating fish except during high water conditions. As the river continues east gravels are still evident but these are hard packed and distinctly covered with iron ochre. A little way below the old Carron Iron Works the tidal water is reached.
The majority of the fishing on the river is leased by the Larbert and Stenhousemuir Angling Club.
Larbert & Stenhousemuir Angling Club Secretary, 52 Weir Street, Falkirk FK1 1RB
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