Whale in the Door

A Community Unites to Protect BC's Howe Sound

John Buchanan photos

John BuchananJOHN BUCHANAN, citizen scientist, a preposterously fit man in his fifties, has become a bit of a Howe Sound celebrity for his videos of herring eggs and spawning salmon. I was lucky enough to spend a day with him while I was working on Whale in the Door.

John is a passionate observer of life and he spends many hours in the Mandy Lynn, his fifty-horsepower boat in search of anything that moves in the waters of Howe Sound/Atl’kitsem.

John and Pauline and the Mandy Lynn

Yesterday, he sent me photos of his recent findings. He travelled from McNab Creek to the Squamish Terminals and discovered a very recent expansion of herring spawn as well as lots of bird activity everywhere he looked in Howe Sound.

Here are some of the photos he sent me.



Surf Scoters

Surf Scoters

Oyster catcher in Howe Sound

Oyster Catcher

John says this kelp bed is a favourite spawning ground of herring. He tells me herring communicate by farting. It’s true!

John also takes underwater videos with Howey, a submersible camera he built himself. This photo of pink salmon was taken with one of his polecams:

Pink Salmon coming from the Cheekeye Creek to spawn. PHOTO JOHN BUCHANAN