We hypothesize that bovine infections are responsible for the persistence of human schistosomiasis transmission in the Yangtze marshlands of China. To test this hypothesis, we are carrying out a comparative intervention among four administrative villages in the Poyang Lake region, Jiangxi Province, two of which are experimental and two are control. The primary design involves treating, at the onset of the study, all the inhabitants in all four villages with praziquantel and all the bovines in two villages (the experimental or intervention villages). Following treatment, rates of reinfection in people of all villages, and in bovines in the experimental villages, will be assessed as will the ongoing prevalence of infection in bovines in the control villages. Before treatment, the prevalence and intensity of infection among humans and bovines was ascertained in the four villages. Our study design and baseline information are presented here, along with a description of the ecology of the study villages.