Decked in waders and sporting seines and dip nets, we take to land via snow machine, headed for the TOAS pool. We first stumbled upon the Toolik outlet aufeis spring (TOAS) pool in 2012, while heading to our lower Kuparuk River sites via snow machine. In winter, it appeared as a mound of overflow and aufeis, which seemed interesting enough to plunk in an iButton temperature logger that summer. We’ve been monitoring the TOAS pool ever since. Last summer, dispite its small size and disconnectedness to other lakes due to extensive river drying, our crew discovered not only Arctic grayling at the TOAS pool, but lake trout, as well! Total surprise! Keen on tagging fish at this site and setting up a temporary fish antenna to see who overwintered here, we set off with helicopter pilot, Keeton Molt, on a fishing quest for grayling and lake trout. Moral quickly fizzled, however, upon arrival at TOAS. Unlike our other spring locations, TOAS remained iced over by a seriously thick layer of ice with no way to seine or even dip net the frozen waters. Although very different from our shallow spring sites that remain open during winter, if lake trout survive here this pool must be deep enough to support overwintering fish. If time permits, we’ll return with an ice auger this spring to take a better look. The Arctic is nothing if not full of surprises.