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German Tourist Faces Prison Time For Frozen Trout Joke Gone Wrong

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May 31, 2012

German Tourist Faces Prison Time For Frozen Trout Joke Gone Wrong

By Chad Love

If you plan on traveling to Austria any time soon, I'd advise you to leave your fishing gear and your sense of humor at the border. One German tourist didn't, and now he's facing prison time for fake-catching a frozen trout he had previously bought in a store.

From this story on Huffingtonpost.com:

(Alexander) Donniger, 42, of Kiefersfelden, Germany, was on vacation in Kufstein, Austria, when he and his wife decided to play a prank on their 7-year-old twins, Enya and Arthur, by buying two frozen trout and taking them to a lake with the family. Unbeknownst to the kids, he tied the store-bought fish to the end of the poles and dangled them in the pond until they were thawed enough to appear freshly-caught, according to German website The Local.

However, Donniger's plans were sunk when a local spotted the family and called police, who arrested the couple for illegal fishing, according to the Austrian Independent. A police spokesman told the paper that the fact he was only catching a store-bought fish didn't matter. "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 official said.

Donninger apparently did have a fishing license, but didn't have permission to catch anything from that particular lake, even though the frozen fish he "caught" didn't actually come from the lake. And now, if he's convicted, Donninger could face six months in an Austrian prison, where prisoners are reportedly forced to watch "The Sound of Music" at least once every day for the duration of their incarceration.

Thoughts? I can see the point of the authorities, I guess. Technically I suppose he did break the law, but geez, doesn't six months in the calaboose for trying to make your kids laugh seem a little harsh? Couldn’t they just give him six lashes with a rubber chicken or something?

Comments (21)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Douglas wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

Could happen in this country someday. Just wait and see.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

And the kids were supposed to get some kinda thrill from reeling in stone dead fish? Take them to the mall! What a boob.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mexhunter wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

i would learn my leson by watching the sound of music only once more.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

Makes about as much sense as that municipal employee who got fired for turning in a gun he found while mowing. The idiots are everywhere and they refuse to apply any common sense to situations that are a little bit between the cracks.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from small game sportsman wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

Thats a bit excessive don't you think? But, there laws...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RandyMI wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

Sounds like another case of 'the spirit of the law' being missed or perverted....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tritonrider wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Actually sounds pretty typical of Austria and Germany. When we lived there you could receive the equivalent of a several hundred thousand dollar fine for pruning even a single limb off one of your own trees without the approval and permit from the town/State/Regional forester.
Anything related to plants, animals, and the outdoors is incredibly regulated. The control over hunting/shooting would be mind boggling even to folks from California and fishing isn't much better. Couple thousand years continuously building and extending the same rules.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tritonrider wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Wow did I screw that up. Should be "several hundred dollar fine". Don't know where the "thousand" came from.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from veeguy wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

I had an incident almost as stupid in Wisconsin. I was taking pictures of some trout in a small stream. I had a cut off 5 gallon pail with the bottom cut out, to allow me to take pictures without reflections ruining the shots. All of a sudden, I hear a pickup truck fishtailing down the gravel road, and come to a sliding stop behind my car, and a game warden jumps out, runs to where I was standing and he demands my fishing license. I said I didn't have one, and didn't NEED one, since I wasn't fishing, I was taking pictures. He asked me to search my car for fishing equipment, and I OK'ed him to do it. I had no fishing equipment, and he looked really disappointed, until he spotted the pail sitting by the creek bank. He took a citation booklet out of his pocket, and informed me he would be citing me for "fishing without a license" AND "use of illegal equipment (the pail) for taking gamefish in a trout stream". I walked over, picked up the pail, held it up and showed him it had no bottom. He didn't say a word, put his book back in his pocket and got in his truck and left. No apology, no small talk, nothing. I'm 58, and remember when meeting a warden in the woods was a cordial thing, maybe a tip on where things were happening, "maybe a brief conversation on the weather, etc. I don't know if it's just Wisconsin, but it seems game wardens here are just another flavor of Cop, more interested in writing you a ticket than acting as a conservation agent.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

And Tirolians/Austrians are supposed to be "the nice Germans" according to Robin Williams...with their lederhosen,cucku clocks and apfelküchen! Wonder what would happen if he got caught nicking an apple pie!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bounty1 wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

veeguy: I know many wardens here in Wisconsin, and yes, some can be real jerks at times. They all like their authority, and rightfuly so I guess. Before I got to know them well, I heard some real strange lines from some. I know you don't want ta post it here, but I'd like to know which warden that was, or at least what county.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from NWM wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

veeguy & bounty1. I'm with ya. Even interactions with the same warden during different activites have differet results. Guess it all depends on what activity I'm doing and season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mdsulli2 wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Jailed for a bad joke?! Mr. Heavey for your own good, stay out of Austria!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hargram wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Like TritonRider, I too lived in Germany for a few years. It is typical SOCIALIST mindset to not pay attention to reason, only the letters on the page of some ancient book or what is believed to be the letters on some ancient book. More unbelievable laws from Germany... wash you car on something other than the grass, face a $150+ fine, let your car warm up during the winter (run anytime for more than 3 minutes) $500 fine, work on a Sunday (change a potted plant) $125 fine (this happeded to us), drive down a pot-holed road and accidently splash someone, $250 fine if they report your licence plate, have an unregistered fire-arm in your home $5000 fine and loose the fire arm... when you get convicted, after you pay the fine... spend 5-10 yrs in prision. More time if you have ammo and a gun (happened to my German neighbor who's father passed on a Nazi war pistol and his son got jeleous).

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Austria?

Arnold Schwarzenegger?

GO FIGURE!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Fernandez wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

I understand the law. Its there to protect the fish from being poached but it was a lame joke gone wrong isn't jail time a bit harsh. Wouldn't a fine be more appropriate.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CamperGuy wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

We can't be far behind them. I sat at the edge of a lake reading the fishing rule book from the Ca fish and game.
By the time I was done, I closed the book, threw the gear back in the truck, and opened a beer.
overcriminalized.com

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

that's a bit over the top. i think reasonable minds will prevail and he will just get a fine. at least i would hope so.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

This isn't the first time I posted this comment. The one thing my father really loved about America was the fishing. He was born on The Danube river in 1910 in a house that was built before America was discovered. He could not fish in his back yard because they did not own the rights to fish on that section of the river. He came to America and would take me fishing at midnight on a school day.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Too d**n many laws in this country, all left to interpretation of the law inforcement! Soon it will be illegal for a bear to sh*t in the woods!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Louzianajones wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

Hey, it is already illegal for us to $#!+ in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Douglas wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

Could happen in this country someday. Just wait and see.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from veeguy wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

I had an incident almost as stupid in Wisconsin. I was taking pictures of some trout in a small stream. I had a cut off 5 gallon pail with the bottom cut out, to allow me to take pictures without reflections ruining the shots. All of a sudden, I hear a pickup truck fishtailing down the gravel road, and come to a sliding stop behind my car, and a game warden jumps out, runs to where I was standing and he demands my fishing license. I said I didn't have one, and didn't NEED one, since I wasn't fishing, I was taking pictures. He asked me to search my car for fishing equipment, and I OK'ed him to do it. I had no fishing equipment, and he looked really disappointed, until he spotted the pail sitting by the creek bank. He took a citation booklet out of his pocket, and informed me he would be citing me for "fishing without a license" AND "use of illegal equipment (the pail) for taking gamefish in a trout stream". I walked over, picked up the pail, held it up and showed him it had no bottom. He didn't say a word, put his book back in his pocket and got in his truck and left. No apology, no small talk, nothing. I'm 58, and remember when meeting a warden in the woods was a cordial thing, maybe a tip on where things were happening, "maybe a brief conversation on the weather, etc. I don't know if it's just Wisconsin, but it seems game wardens here are just another flavor of Cop, more interested in writing you a ticket than acting as a conservation agent.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

Makes about as much sense as that municipal employee who got fired for turning in a gun he found while mowing. The idiots are everywhere and they refuse to apply any common sense to situations that are a little bit between the cracks.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from hargram wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Like TritonRider, I too lived in Germany for a few years. It is typical SOCIALIST mindset to not pay attention to reason, only the letters on the page of some ancient book or what is believed to be the letters on some ancient book. More unbelievable laws from Germany... wash you car on something other than the grass, face a $150+ fine, let your car warm up during the winter (run anytime for more than 3 minutes) $500 fine, work on a Sunday (change a potted plant) $125 fine (this happeded to us), drive down a pot-holed road and accidently splash someone, $250 fine if they report your licence plate, have an unregistered fire-arm in your home $5000 fine and loose the fire arm... when you get convicted, after you pay the fine... spend 5-10 yrs in prision. More time if you have ammo and a gun (happened to my German neighbor who's father passed on a Nazi war pistol and his son got jeleous).

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

And the kids were supposed to get some kinda thrill from reeling in stone dead fish? Take them to the mall! What a boob.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RandyMI wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

Sounds like another case of 'the spirit of the law' being missed or perverted....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tritonrider wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Actually sounds pretty typical of Austria and Germany. When we lived there you could receive the equivalent of a several hundred thousand dollar fine for pruning even a single limb off one of your own trees without the approval and permit from the town/State/Regional forester.
Anything related to plants, animals, and the outdoors is incredibly regulated. The control over hunting/shooting would be mind boggling even to folks from California and fishing isn't much better. Couple thousand years continuously building and extending the same rules.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bounty1 wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

veeguy: I know many wardens here in Wisconsin, and yes, some can be real jerks at times. They all like their authority, and rightfuly so I guess. Before I got to know them well, I heard some real strange lines from some. I know you don't want ta post it here, but I'd like to know which warden that was, or at least what county.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from CamperGuy wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

We can't be far behind them. I sat at the edge of a lake reading the fishing rule book from the Ca fish and game.
By the time I was done, I closed the book, threw the gear back in the truck, and opened a beer.
overcriminalized.com

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mexhunter wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

i would learn my leson by watching the sound of music only once more.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tritonrider wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Wow did I screw that up. Should be "several hundred dollar fine". Don't know where the "thousand" came from.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

And Tirolians/Austrians are supposed to be "the nice Germans" according to Robin Williams...with their lederhosen,cucku clocks and apfelküchen! Wonder what would happen if he got caught nicking an apple pie!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NWM wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

veeguy & bounty1. I'm with ya. Even interactions with the same warden during different activites have differet results. Guess it all depends on what activity I'm doing and season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mdsulli2 wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Jailed for a bad joke?! Mr. Heavey for your own good, stay out of Austria!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Austria?

Arnold Schwarzenegger?

GO FIGURE!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Fernandez wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

I understand the law. Its there to protect the fish from being poached but it was a lame joke gone wrong isn't jail time a bit harsh. Wouldn't a fine be more appropriate.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

that's a bit over the top. i think reasonable minds will prevail and he will just get a fine. at least i would hope so.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

This isn't the first time I posted this comment. The one thing my father really loved about America was the fishing. He was born on The Danube river in 1910 in a house that was built before America was discovered. He could not fish in his back yard because they did not own the rights to fish on that section of the river. He came to America and would take me fishing at midnight on a school day.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Too d**n many laws in this country, all left to interpretation of the law inforcement! Soon it will be illegal for a bear to sh*t in the woods!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from small game sportsman wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

Thats a bit excessive don't you think? But, there laws...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Louzianajones wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

Hey, it is already illegal for us to $#!+ in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment