Tissue samples used for genetic analyses are increasingly necessary for proper management of rare or endangered species, yet growing evidence suggests that traditional methods used to sample or mark amphibians have detrimental fitness effects. We used a semi-natural mesocosm experiment to determine the effect of larval tail-clipping on growth and survival of the endangered California tiger salamander. Even with relatively extreme levels of tail loss, we found no effect on survival, mass, or snout-vent length. We recommend larval tail-clipping as a low-impact method for collecting tissue samples from pond-breeding amphibians. © 2013 The Wildlife Society.