Irrigation for intensive sugar cultivation started in the early 1980s at Richard Toll, some 100 km from the mouth of the Senegal River. Infections with Schistosoma mansoni were first seen in late 1988. This study records quantitative snail surveys for over 3 years from 1992 at sites representing different habitats in and around the irrigation scheme. Populations of both Biomphalaria pfeifferi (the intermediate host of S. mansoni) and Bulinus spp. (mainly B. truncatus, the local host of S. bovis) peaked in late ‘spring' or early ‘summer', depending on the habitat, and then remained low until the following ‘spring'. B. pfeifferi favoured smaller, man-made habitats with most transmission between May and August each year. The less abundant Bulinus spp. favoured larger natural and man-made habitats with most S. bovis transmission between April and July. S. mansoni infections were more, but S. bovis infections were less abundant than other trematodes in their respective snail hosts. Ecological changes in the early 1980s due to sugar irrigation pre-dated similar, more widespread changes in the late 1980s when the completion of dams across the Senegal River prevented seasonal rain fed floods and sea water intrusion. S. mansoni has since spread rapidly around Richard Toll. The incompatibility of the local S. haematobium strains with the dominant bulinid snails has so far prevented an epidemic of urinary schistosomiasis at Richard Toll, but the invasion of similar downstream habitats by susceptible B. globosus is worrying. The principal control measure, chemotherapy, given in the ‘winter' would minimise the rate of reinfection. It could be reinforced by judicious mollusciciding within the sugar irrigation scheme but not elsewhere.