Freshwater habitats

Loch Shiel

Because of the high rainfall and the glaciated shape of the landscape, Lochaber has an abundance of freshwater habitats. Rivers are typically fast-flowing and are important for salmon and trout, as well as invertebrates such as the freshwater pearl-mussel and insects that live on river shingle.

Freshwater lochs range in size from deep, glaciated lochs such as Lochs Lochy, Shiel and Morar to tiny hill-top lochans; but all of these freshwater habitats are typically poor in nutrients.

Important animal species found in freshwater habitats include common scoter, red and black-throated divers, otter, arctic charr and dragonflies. Several notable plant species such as slender naiad, pipewort, club sedge and pygmyweed also occur in certain lochs or in the wetlands surrounding them.