Breach - update for paddlers
Wed 11 Mar 2015
Having assessed the damage to Cullochy Weir and the embankment breach, engineers will soon be temporarily damming the canal near Aberchalder Bridge using rock armour. This will allow the water levels in Loch Oich to return to natural levels and gives the engineers safe access to the damaged area so that they can begin the repairs. Unfortunately this work will take until June to complete fully but we anticpate the canal re-opening to through traffic at the end of April.
As the dam will block access to the Canoe Trail pontoon, paddlers travelling from Loch Oich to Cullochy Lock now have two options : if they have suitable experience they may choose to enter the River Oich from Loch Oich, but should be aware that the river currently contains large amounts of rubble and debris washed out of the weir. A second option would be to exit Loch Oich just before Aberchalder Bridge, portage across the A82 (taking great care) and continue to portage the unaffected south towpath down to Cullochy Lock, cross the lock gates and launch using the low level pontoon. However, this is a portage of over 600m and includes a crossing of a major trunk road.
Paddlers should carefully consider their level of experience, the kit they have with them and the water conditions on the day before they choose which option to take.