German Man Arrested for Poaching a Frozen Fish


Alexander Donninger has some ‘splaining to do to his kids. The 42 year old from Kiefersfelden, Germany just wanted to impress his children with his fishing skills, but he didn’t have any. So, while on vacation in Austria, he and his wife decided to play a prank on their 7-year-old twins. They would buy two frozen lake trout and take the children “fishing.”

Unfortunately for Donninger, he chose the wrong lake. A local spotted the family fishing at the river in Kufstein, Austria and came over to see for himself what the Donningers were into. Donninger had tied the two trout to the end of his poles and let them slosh around in the pond until they were thawed enough to appear freshly caught, albeit lifeless.

The local didn’t like this at all, so he called police, who came to arrest the Donningers for illegal fishing, according to the Austrian Independent.

A police spokesperson said, “regardless of whether he had a frozen fish on the line or not it is illegal to have a rod in the water without a license.”

The man who owns the lake insisted that the maximum punishment be applied because there is no way to prove whether the fish was in fact frozen. He also said that others could use the same excuse if caught actually poaching.

Donninger faces up to six months in prison or a fine of up to 360 days of earnings, according to Die Welt.

“What really annoyed me was the man who reported this. He came up to me and was talking to me and he knew we were using a frozen fish,” Donninger told the Austrian Independent. “Because I didn’t have a license he called police but he didn’t say anything at the time. Otherwise, it could have been speedily settled.”

A judge offered a settlement to Donninger, but he refused saying that he did nothing wrong. Donninger’s defense lawyer, Taddaeus Schaefer said this is a ridiculous case that never should have gone this far.

“It is madness that such a small offense with a fish worth no more than a few euros is even coming to court,” he said. “It is like we are living in the medieval ages again.”

Donninger purchased the fish for a few euros each from the supermarket. It is unknown whether he kept his receipt.

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