Pitlochry Dam was built between 1947 and 1951 as part of a networks of dams in the Highlands to generate electricity. The River Tummel was dammed, flooding the old Pitlochry Highland Games field, today known as Loch Faskally. Pitlochry Dam & Fish ladder is one of the town's more famous attractions, anyone who has visited Pitlochry has visited the Dam.
The Fish Ladder was built as part of Pitlochry Dam to allow the annual migration of thousands of Atlantic Salmon to pass through the dam wall. The Fish Ladder has a total of 34 chambers or small artificial pools, each one with a water level slightly higher than the one below, a series of steps, gradually taking the fish in to Loch Faskally. The fish swim from one chamber to the next via small circular entrances, which restrict the amount of water flowing from one chamber to the next. There is a viewing room where, if they're lucky, visitors can watch the mighty salmon. The viewing room is in one of the three resting chambers that allow the fish to catch their breath before the swim through the next set of chambers. The fish counter records how many fish have passed through each season.
When the water level in Loch Faskally rises due to heavy rainfall or fast snowmelt the dam gates are opened to allow water to pour into the River Tummel below the dam, the roar of Pitlochry Dam in full-spate is a sound to behold.