vabuyer, I really don't know what the answer is to keep people from digging and selling out of season or harvesting small roots.
I'm like you, I hand their small roots back and explain that the roots are illegal and I can be fined for having them. I've even showed them that the roots will barely tip the scales or not at all. What a waste! I had one guy call me and he said,I heard you don't buy small roots? My reply was, I don't buy underage,illegal roots and had to explain to him. His reply was, Yea, That's them ole enviromentalist for you messing everything up! LOL!
Anyway I think States need to give out more information somehow to the diggers.