Iowa DNR director cited for fishing without license

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
70,096
49,550
113
Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon, cited for fishing without a license earlier this month, said it was an honest mistake to let her fishing license expire before an excursion on the Mississippi River.


Lyon was out with DNR staff doing a combination of touring and paddlefishing March 18 near Bellevue in Jackson County when she was informed she didn’t have a valid license, she said in an email Monday.


“I caught and released two paddlefish; one of which was 22 pounds,” she said. “I truly enjoyed the experience to snag such a unique, prehistoric species of fish.”


Advertisment

On March 21, when Lyon was back in Des Moines, she asked the DNR’s law enforcement chief to cite her for fishing without a license, she said. The ticket costs $135.50, including a fine, court costs and surcharge, according to Iowa Courts Online.


“It was an honest mistake but the laws apply to me just like anyone else,” Lyon said. “I have since gone online and renewed my combination license.”


Bleeding Heartland first reported this story Friday.


Lyon, 37, of Ames, leads the state agency that “manages fish and wildlife programs, ensures the health of Iowa’s forests and prairies and provides recreational opportunities in Iowa’s state parks,” the DNR’s website states. The agency also provides permits and compliance checks for animal feeding operations, among other roles.


Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Lyon to the role in 2019.


Lyon told The Gazette she encourages other hunters or anglers to routinely check their accounts to make sure their licenses don’t expire.

Anglers can purchase or renew their licenses on the DNR website. The outdoor combo annual resident hunting/fishing/habitat license costs $55. This also can be done on the Go Iowa Outdoors app.

 
  • Haha
Reactions: InsaneHawkJJP

QChawks

HR Legend
Feb 11, 2013
48,288
64,869
113
Quad Cities
092b1803fcbe2b22f95acc4e80a44847.jpeg
 

runkpanole

HR Legend
Nov 17, 2002
14,025
22,275
113
Yeah, I think she did the right thing. Unless there is more to the story, she self reported and paid the fine. I will say, when I go out, I check my fishing license on my app provided by FWC to make sure I’m good.
 

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
70,096
49,550
113
No, the director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources was not caught at 4:33 a.m. on March 21 fishing without a license on the Mississippi River.

Yes, that's what the citation says.

In fact, DNR Director Kayla Lyon's unsanctioned fishing trip was the previous Friday. While accompanying DNR staff on a tour, Lyon caught a pair of paddlefish.

Lyon told the Des Moines Register a local conservation officer checked her combination hunting and fishing license, but she said she did not learn until DNR law enforcement chief Trace Kendig told her later that it had expired.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources director Kayla Lyon says she had the DNR's enforcement director issue her a ticket after learning she had inadvertently fished while her license was expired.


So, Lyon said in an email, she asked Kendig to write her the $135 ticket.

"It was an honest mistake but the laws apply to me just like anyone else. I have since gone online and renewed my combination license," she said.

More:Here are 7 fish fries to try on Friday nights in metro Des Moines for Lent

On average, according to the DNR, conservation officers make contact with about 4,400 anglers each year and issue about 650 violations of one kind or another.

Conservation officers are given discretion on when to issue a citation for expired licenses.

More:Complaint that Iowa senator's influence helped relative get permits for cattle feedlot by trout stream dismissed

Lyons said that in her case, her license was on auto-renewal and she hadn't updated her credit card information.

 

Parker D

HR All-State
Oct 21, 2009
899
2,138
93
License is $22, fine is $135. If you only get caught every 7 years, you've saved money.
 

WhiteSoxClone

HR Legend
May 29, 2001
11,165
2,987
113
I find this somewhat refreshing. She owned up to her mistake and it doesn't appear that she in any way tried to use her authority improperly to cover up a slightly embarrassing mishap. I have come to expect politicians and political appointees to misuse their authority for personal gain, so to see one not try to do so is nice.
 

HawkBall23

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 6, 2001
22,670
12,318
113
Good on her for owning up to the mistake, if that's what happened, but how does the DNR director forget her license isn't up to date??

Just own up to the fact you knew it was, fished anyways and got caught. Not everyone gets caught, but I imagine there's more than a few fish out there that have had 'illegal' hooks in their mouths.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ClarindaA's

TylerJ76

HR MVP
Jun 11, 2021
1,964
4,125
113
Good on her for owning up to the mistake, if that's what happened, but how does the DNR director forget her license isn't up to date??

Just own up to the fact you knew it was, fished anyways and got caught. Not everyone gets caught, but I imagine there's more than a few fish out there that have had 'illegal' hooks in their mouths.

"Lyons said that in her case, her license was on auto-renewal and she hadn't updated her credit card information"