Internal Title "Studies of the Effects of Reservoir Releases on the Arroyo Toad and Coast Range Newt On the Upper San Diego River Watershed". INTRODUCTION: This study was commissioned in 1999 to investigate the potential downstream effects of
current and modified controlled water release regimes from Cuyamaca Reservoir into Boulder Creek on the resident populations of arroyo toad (Bufo californicus) and the coast range newt (Taricha torosa torosa). This study is intended to develop a scientific foundation upon which to base the issuance of United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) endangered species take permits, as a part of the Helix Water District Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP), pursuant to the State of California NCCP Act of 1991. Projects for which incidental take of sensitive species is sought are required to contribute to the recovery of the species through increased management and conservation, as required by state and federal environmental policy and legislation regarding take of endangered species. The development and study of alternative water release regimes is an important component of this project in that it will investigate means of reducing or avoiding adverse effects to these species, which is preferable to compensatory mitigation. The Implementing Agreement for the Helix Water District NCCP will include this research project as one of the conditions for ?coverage? for the arroyo toad and Coast Range newt. This report summarizes the first two years of the research project.