MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is reminding anglers and the public to avoid disturbing spawning sea lamprey that may currently be found in the Connecticut River and several of its tributaries.

The lamprey can be found in several of the Connecticut’s Vermont tributaries, including the West, Williams, Black and White rivers.

The Connecticut River lamprey are separate from those found in Lake Champlain where they are considered a nuisance and their populations are kept low with lamprey killing chemicals.

Sea lamprey spend most of their lives in the Atlantic Ocean where they attach themselves to fish as parasites. When they return to freshwater to spawn they are non-parasitic and die shortly after spawning. Biologists say their carcasses play a critical role in cycling marine nutrients into freshwater ecosystems.