Congressman Mike Thompson, first elected in 1998, represents California's 5th Congressional District. Before being elected to Congress he represented California's 2nd District in the State Senate. Thompson served as Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus during the 107th and 108th Congresses.
Thompson grew up in a rural community in Northern California and has hunted and fished all of his life.
“Before I was old enough to drive,” Thompson recalls, “I would ride my bike through town to the river to go duck hunting and my mom would pick me up at a local grocery store three or four miles downriver.”
As an elected official Thompson has led efforts to preserve open spaces and conserve wetlands.
In the early 1990s, Thompson worked with agencies to develop a plan that preserved the historical waterfowl hunting and fishing destination of the South Spit of Humboldt Bay in Humboldt County, California. Today it is enjoyed by many who come to fish, hunt and recreate on the Spit.
Thompson was responsible for forging a deal in California’s Del Norte County that protected farmland and moved the Aleutian Goose off the threatened species list. Because of Thompson’s work, people are now allowed to hunt these geese.
Continuing his work on conservation, Thompson secured more than $20 million to restore the Napa-Sonoma Salt Marsh. This 20 year restoration project represents a remarkable recovery of one of the San Francisco Bay’s great wetlands. The area was once diked and drained for agricultural purposes. After it was drained, it was used for commercial salt production. Because of Thompson’s efforts, 10,000 acres of wetlands have been restored and hunting opportunities have been increased.
Additionally, as a co-sponsor of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Thompson’s fingerprints are on conservation efforts spanning far beyond California. This law co-written by Thompson is responsible for the conservation of more than 23 million acres of wetlands.
Thompson was recently inducted into the California Waterfowl Hall of Fame, where he was recognized for his conservation work.
“While I don’t have as much time to hunt because of my job in Congress, it’s through that job that I can work to make sure our kids and grandkids, and the generations that come after them will have good hunting land,” said Thompson. “To me, that’s just as satisfying – and it’s what the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus is all about.”
Congressman Thompson and his dog, Katie waiting patiently in a duck blind
Congressman Thompson brings home his waterfowl after a successful hunt
Your opinion counts
Recently, Virginia has proposed legislation that would make the punishment for poaching, in their state, a 1-5 year prison sentence through HB-449. Poaching undermines the social acceptance of hunters, jobs, recreation, local and state economies, and conservation efforts. How should poachers be punished?Vote Here
- By sentencing them to jail time. (36.36%)
- By giving them a cash fine. (12.12%)
- By banning their hunting and fishing privileges and their ability to buy the necessary licenses. (16.16%)
- By putting them on a probation period. (1.01%)
- There should be some discretion in the penalties depending on the motivations for the poaching incident. (34.34%)