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Down the Ice Hole

Surprised by thick, dense ice atop our TOAS1 pool three day ago, we discovered that this location behaves more like a lake than a spring by freezing over rather than remaining liquid overwinter.  This non-subtle difference made seining the water for last summer’s tagged fish impossible, leaving us standing dumbstruck in waders with dip nets on the solidly frozen surface.  Not to be deterred, however, we devised our first-ever vertical fish antenna!  Before deploying this beauty, upon reaching our site I fastened my waterproofed iPhone to a weight, set “video” rolling and sent it down the ice hole to see if we could surprise some fish.  Although we didn’t see any fish on our video expedition through the ice hole, we did get some interesting shots under ice.  Check out the YouTube link below!  I can’t wait for tomorrow to return to the TOAS1 pool and download our data!  Go Fish!


Our first ever vertical antenna, ready to deploy through an ice hole at the TOAS1 pool.


Snow machine tracks along our riverine highway to TOAS1.


Cam MacKenzie, ready to drill some ice holes!


Starting small, we drill our first holes without the auger extension.  Although over a meter long, this auger bit doesn’t come close to breaking through TOAS1’s ice.


Taken before placing the auger with its extension into our first hole, this photo not only emphasizes Arctic ice depth, but also illustrates our apposite nicknames: Ermine and Moose.


A view down the ice hole, just before punching through the ice to liquid water below.


Verticle fish antenna installed through an ice hole.


TOAS1’s vertical fish antenna, up and running.  Now we just need our tagged fish to swim by!


Ready to head back to Toolik.  We should arrive just in time for dinner.

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