Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Cited Herself for Unlicensed Fishing

by Amy Myers

Earlier this month, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources director decided to go fishing. When she later realized her license had expired, she knew she needed to hold herself accountable.

Director Kayla Lyon is, not surprisingly, an avid fisher in her state. Usually, she keeps her fishing and hunting licenses up-to-date. She even has her license on auto-renew, charging the fee automatically. But when she received a new bank card, she forgot to incorporate the new information onto her online account with the Iowa DNR. So, the charge never went through and Lyon unknowingly went looking for paddlefish without the proper papers.

Once Lyon realized her mistake, she knew she needed to make it right. So, she went to her officers at the Iowa DNR and asked them to issue her a citation for her fishing mishap according to KCCI. The result was a fine and court costs of $135. It’s unknown if the director actually caught anything during her trip, but regardless, she took her rod out onto the water. Certainly, Lyon didn’t look forward to paying the penalty, but the citation was a matter of morals for the director.

Since receiving her self-appointed citation, Lyon has renewed her license and plugged in the correct information to update the auto-renew service.

Iowa DNR Praises Local Angler for Incredible Ice Fishing Catch

In January, another Iowa angler decided to head out onto the ice to search for some panfish, but he came away with a better surprise than Director Lyon.

Gavin Campbell, a native of Council Bluffs, Iowa took his rod onto Lake Manawa. The 24-year-old soon felt the strongest tug on the line he had ever experienced. Before he knew it, he was in the fight of a lifetime.

“The fight was unlike anything I’ve ever caught through the ice,” Campbell told Field & Stream. “It was constant power. It was a whole new battle to get that big of a fish to turn its head on a rod and reel that wasn’t meant for something of its size.”

Somehow, Campbell managed to pull out a monster of a catfish that was a whopping 34 pounds in size.

Once the Iowa DNR caught wind of the massive catch, they gladly celebrated the amazing fishing trip as well. On Instagram, they shared a photo of Campbell holding the glossy catfish on the ice in front of a gorgeous Iowan sunset.

“Surprise! That’s no panfish. That’s a 40-inch, 34-pound Iowa Master Angler flathead catfish!” the agency said in its post. “Gavin Campbell was recently ice fishing Lake Manawa when he pulled this monster from the ice.”

Ever the good sport, Campbell responded in the comments, “If that guy holding it wasn’t so ugly that would be one hell of a picture.”