FREMONT COUNTY, Iowa - Five southwest Iowa men were charged with illegally harvesting channel catfish on Jan. 19, when officers from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Nebraska Game and Parks witnessed them loading the catch onto a truck. It is illegal to keep game fish from the Missouri River on a commercial fishing license.
The officers were watching the Missouri River for illegal snagging when they came across the individuals in Fremont County.
“There was no fishing tackle in the boats, only nets,” said Richard Price, state conservation officer with the Iowa DNR.
Those who were charged include Larkin Achenbach, 18, of Pacific Junction, Lester Achenbach, 57, of Thurman, Leland Achenbach, 54, of Thurman, Frankie “Lyle” Achenbach, 50, of Riverton, and James Achenbach, 79, of Thurman.
They were each charged with 18 counts of illegal method of take. In addition, Larkin Achenbach, Lester Achenbach and Leland Achenbach were charged with not having a commercial fishing license. The $270 in liquidated damages for 18 catfish was split between the five at $54 each. A court date has been set for Feb. 18.
Fines and Additional Charges
- Larkin Achenbach fines total $3,705.
- Lester Achenbach was also charged with failure to carry registration and with improper display of registration. His fines totaled $3,856. The DNR has filed for condemnation of the boat, motor and trailer.
- Leland Achenbach fines totaled $3,705.
- Frankie “Lyle” Achenbach fines totaled $3,510.
- James Achenbach was also charged with not having tags for his commercial fishing gear and two counts of not having personal floatation devices. His fines totaled $3,777.74. The DNR has filed for condemnation of the boat, motor, trailer and net.