A class ring lost for decades in an East Texas lake is back with its owner after turning up in a fish caught the day after Thanksgiving.

Joe Richardson of Buna told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he wishes he knew "how many fish it's been in."

Richardson was fishing at Lake Sam Rayburn about two weeks after his 1987 graduation from Universal Technical Institute in Houston when he lost the ring.

The 41-year-old mechanic says on Nov. 28 he received a call from a fisherman who had reeled in a more than 8-pound bass. The ring that had been in the fish had "Joe Richardson" etched in the band.

Richardson says the fisherman did an Internet search and made several calls before reaching him and returning the ring.

Buna is about 110 miles northeast of Houston.