Five southwest Iowa men each face fines over $3,000 for illegally harvesting channel catfish from the Missouri River. Officers from the Iowa DNR and Nebraska Game and Parks witnessed the men loading the fish onto a truck in Fremont County on January 19th.

Conservation officers say there was no fishing tackle only nets in the boat the men were using. The officers filed 18 counts of illegally taking fish each against 18-year-old Larkin Achenbach of Pacific Junction, 57-year-old Lester Achenbach, 54-year-old Leland Achenbach, 70-year-old James Achenbach — all of Thurman, and 50-year-old Frankie Achenbach of Riverton.

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.  The DNR has also filed to seize the boat. The five men are set to appear on court on February 18th.

Here are the fines and additional charges against each of the men:

  •  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.