The existing highly-productive dike-pond system (DPS) combines not only dike horticulture and aquaculture production but also their efficient energy and nutrient exchange. This eco-farming system in fact provides in-depth implications on the complementarity among mulberries, silkworms, fish, and pond mud. Integrating old records and recent aquaculture research, this paper traces China’s pond aquaculture history and its environmental management tradition over several centuries. It demonstrates how local farmers and fish culturists used centuries-old experience to adapt and react to environmental changes and developed their techniques suitable for fish resources management. Findings from the Zhujiang Delta case support : (1) grass carp monoculture was originated from a rice-grass carp practice which made hilly waste field pond productive; (2) difficulties involved in collecting fry of several species from the wild leading both to the development of local commerce in fry and to commercial fish production; and (3) argument of the carp polyculture techniques which have evolved into a highly sophisticated food production system should be justified by factors lying behind the change of pond acreage over time. Hence establishment of flood control embankments and the increasingly specialized village economies all prove progress in both the management system and the techniques. Copyright © 1997 University of Hong Kong Press.