Award-winning author Irene Martin has specialized in lower Columbia River fisheries for over forty years. Her husband, Kent, is a fourth-generation Columbia River gillnetter. They have fished together in Alaska, the Columbia and Willapa Bay. Her most recent book is The Flight of the Bumble Bee; the Columbia River Packers Association and a Century in the Pursuit of Fish. Irene is currently working on another book: The Incoming Tide of Memory, a History of the Salmon Canneries of the Columbia River. A recent exhibit she created, Legacy of the Columbia River Fishery, incorporated her knowledge of Columbia River fisheries and images and artifacts from a number of collections, including that of her husband. The exhibit was awarded the David Douglas medal from the Washington State Historical Society in 2013. Among other awards, she received the James B. Castles Heritage Award, Washington State Historical Society Center for Columbia River History in 1998 and the Washington State Governor’s Heritage Award, 2000. Other books include Legacy and Testament, the story of Columbia River Gillnetters, and the Beach of Heaven, the history of Wahkiakum County, Washington as well as Sea Fire, Tales of Jesus and Fishing. Her book of poems, “The Family that Never Threw Anything Away,” was published in 2013. Irene has been a board member on the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, and is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Columbia River Maritime Museum, as well as Salmon For All, an organization of fishermen and processors on the Columbia River.
Irene resides in Skamokawa, Washington.