Re: Illegal fishing in park
Had a similar incident in southern missouri two or three years ago where people were hauling out undersized and illegally caught trout from trophy trout water. To make matters worse, one person was running his pickup through a feeder spring. Several of us in different groups were frustrated and noone had cell phone service to call a park ranger (national park) at the time. After returning home, called the NPS and let them know what we witnessed. Said that they were severely understaffed and that stretch of the river was not regularly controlled anymore due to budget cuts. Ouch!
On a brighter side though, I have been watched on that particular stretch of river many times in the past, and have had my license checked by a ranger. Said they do "stealth" checking regularly (of course, that was 6 plus years ago) on everyone. We had complained at the time that we were seeing the occasional empty jar of trout bait, etc. as we were fishing. The ranger indicated that they do there best to clamp down on illegal use but they also had a tendency to be lenient on the locals that had always fished the stream, prior to it becoming fly only. To some extent, at least on THAT day, I was ok with that.
He did caution against being confrontational when we witness something like that happening, for obvious reasons. The best advice is to certainly let the park rangers know, and leave it to them to do their job. I doubt they have a similar issue in GSMNP, but I think its good safety advice for all of us.