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Pond basins, moreover, did not only provide fish, but also the cut reeds, widely used for roof covering or as fuel, and were also the source of ice, an important commodity needed for the preservation of food and beverages in cellars. Ponds also contributed to the climate conditions suitable for vine production. Both large and small pond systems were also the first major water management works, regulating the water power needed for running the mills that were by far the most important industrial plants for the fertile south Moravian land in pre-modern times.

Mills were built from the High Middle Ages onward either right on millraces branching off the main river Dyje basin, or on the ponds supplied from smaller streams, such as Sedlecký mill at the Portz pond dike (Nový pond).

The gradual decline and temporarily even near extinction of the fishpond business in southern Moravia in modern times was due to a great hunger for arable land manifested from the beginning of the 19th century onward and culminating toward its end. The growing population, contemporary agronomic thinking, introduction of the new crops and better methods of arable farming all together led to pond draining and the effort to alterate watercourses.

Of the large basins, only very rich Nesyt pond survived in its completeness, while Portz pond was reduced as a result of the construction of the Břeclav – Znojmo railway line, and restored after 1945.

A coloured map of Portz pond near Mikulov from 1786

A coloured map of Portz pond near Mikulov from 1786. Source: Moravian Provincial Archive, Brno, collection F18, the Main Filing Cabinets of the Dietrichsteins in Mikulov, A coloured map of Portz pond near Mikulov from 1786, map 102.