Most caught bass apparently never make it to the dinner table.
A recent study by the state Division of Natural Resources shows that anglers throw back 90 percent of the largemouth bass they catch in West Virginia.
Three years ago, fisheries biologists began tagging largemouth bass at small impoundments throughout the state, including Elk Fork Lake and Plum Orchard Lake.
Fisheries biologist Mark Scott in Beckley says anglers who caught the tagged fish were asked to contact the D.N.R. to share information about their catch.
Among other things, they were asked about the date of capture, the tag number and whether they kept or released the fish.
Each angler who participated received a special ball cap with a D.N.R. fish-tagging logo.
Scott says the D.N.R. has started a similar project on the New River, tagging smallmouth bass.