We used observations of individually marked female black brant geese (Branta bernicla nigricans; brant) at three wintering lagoons on the Pacific coast of Baja California—Laguna San Ignacio (LSI), Laguna Ojo de Liebre (LOL), and Bahía San Quintín (BSQ)—and the Tutakoke River breeding colony in Alaska to assess hypotheses about carryover effects on breeding and distribution of individuals among wintering areas. We estimated transition probabilities from wintering locations to breeding and nonbreeding by using multistratum robust-design capture-mark-recapture models. We also examined the effect of breeding on migration to wintering areas to assess the hypothesis that individuals in family groups occupied higher-quality wintering locations. We used 4,538 unique female brant in our analysis of the relationship between winter location and breeding probability. All competitive models of breeding probability contained additive effects of wintering location and the 1997–1998 El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event on probability of breeding. Probability of breeding in non-ENSO years was 0.98 ± 0.02, 0.68 ± 0.04, and 0.91 ± 0.11 for females wintering at BSQ, LOL, and LSI, respectively. After the 1997–1998 ENSO event, breeding probability was between 2% (BSQ) and 38% (LOL) lower than in other years. Individuals that bred had the highest probability of migrating the next fall to the wintering area producing the highest probability of breeding.