Loch Watten is a Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC) due to the nature of the flora on and around the loch. Loch Watten has been a favourite trout fishing loch for many, with fisher folks coming from all over to fish the loch in spring through to the end of the season in October. It is a fly only loch and it is advisable to hire a boat rather than bank fish although you can wade out a fair distance in many areas of the loch as it is relatively shallow. Sunday fishing is not allowed.
Loch Watten is known as a kettle hole loch that was formed due to glacial movement, possibly during the last ice age around 22-35,000 years ago. At the south-east end of the loch near the village of Watten there is evidence of a Crannog, now mostly submerged, as the loch was damned in the past. A crannog is The overflow from Loch Watten flows over a small damn into Wick River. While this river is a well-known salmon river most of the salmon move further up the river to spawn although a few salmon have been seen in the loch.
To stay in this area for trout and salmon fishing the local hotel – The Brown Trout, welcomes visitors to the area. A number of caravan and campsites are nearby. Fishing permits can be arranged locally through Hugo Ross, or by taking a daily or weekly membership of the Dounreay Fly Fishing Association. When using boats on Loch Watten you are required to wear a suitable life jacket, as weather conditions can change rapidly on the loch due to the prevailing wind.